BEIJING (Reuters) - All parties involved in talks about North Korea’s nuclear program need to meet each other half way and address each other’s concerns to create conditions to resume negotiations, China’s foreign minister said.
Numerous efforts to restart the talks since they were last held over six years ago have failed.
Last month, South Korea’s representative to the talks said China and Russia, as well as the United States, Japan, and South Korea, have reached “a certain degree of consensus,” on how to restart the process.
Interviewed by a Russian television station, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said all sides had a joint responsibility to resolve the problem appropriately to ensure regional peace and stability.
“The nuclear issue has been around for a long time and is intricate and complicated,” Wang said, according to a transcript released by the Chinese foreign ministry on Tuesday.
“Only if the symptoms and the causes are addressed ... and there is a full and equal resolution of all sides’ concerns can we find a way out,” he added.
“In the present situation, (I) hope that all sides can work hard together, meet each other half way and create conditions to resume the six-party talks, to strive to put the nuclear issue at the earliest date possible on a dialogue process that is sustainable, effective and cannot be gone back on.”
China is isolated North Korea’s only remaining ally of note, but relations have soured due to Beijing’s anger at Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
In 2005, North Korea reached an agreement with the United States, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia to suspend its nuclear program in return for diplomatic rewards and energy assistance.
Negotiations collapsed after the last round of talks in 2008, with North Korea declaring the deal void after refusing inspections to verify compliance.
North Korea has called for the resumption of the talks, but the United States and South Korea have said Pyongyang must first show it was serious about ending its nuclear program.
Pyongyang has said it was willing to suspend nuclear testing if the United States halted annual joint military drills with South Korea. Washington and Seoul rejected the proposal saying the drills were for defensive purposes.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry