BEIJING – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi argued on Thursday that his country’s double-suspension proposal of urging South Korea and the United States to suspend joint military drills in exchange for North Korea stopping their nuclear tests has played a key role in the rapprochement between the two Koreas.
“Recent developments may seem baffling to some people but are actually within the bounds of reason. During the PyeongChang Olympics, the DPRK (North Korea) did not conduct any nuclear test and the US and ROK (South Korea) suspended joint exercises (...), proving that China’s proposition of suspension for suspension was right for the problem,” Wang said during a press conference.
The double suspension “has created basic conditions for the improvement of inter-Korean relations,” he said regarding the summit to be held in April between leaders of the two Koreas.
According to the minister, the Korean issue is the most complicated topic in the world today and “seizing the opportunity of the PyeongChang Olympics, the DPRK and the ROK have had a succession of interactions and achieved a rapid thaw in their relations reversing the long standing chill on the Korean peninsula.”
At the minister’s main annual press conference, held on the sidelines of the annual legislative session, he urged all parties, especially the US and North Korea, to initiate a dialogue as soon as possible maintaining the commitment to achieve denuclearization of the peninsula.
“Despite the light at the end of the tunnel the journey ahead will not be smooth,” stressed Wang adding that history points to the fact that tensions on the peninsula have always been clouded by external interferences.
“Now is a crucial moment for testing the sincerity of the parties” that, in Wang’s opinion, must show political courage and decision to conduct necessary actions and restart dialogue for the peaceful settlement of nuclear issue.