Asked about the U.S. report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing sought “peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and (was) pushing for its denuclearisation via talks and consultations. No matter what changes there are in the situation, we will uphold this direction.”
A U.S. official had earlier suggested that Washington’s greatest concern was the possibility of unexpected developments linked to Kim Jong-un’s “youth and inexperience”. Asked if war seemed imminent, he replied: “Not at all.”
South Korean President Park Geun-hye, meeting officials from her ruling Saenuri Party before her talks with Kerry, struck a conciliatory note by suggesting Seoul should at least listen to what North Korea had to say.
“We have a lot of issues, including the Kaesong industrial zone,” local media quoted her as saying. So should we not meet with them and ask: “Just what are you trying to do?’”
The president was referring to North Korea’s closure this week of the jointly run Kaesong industrial park, with the loss of 53,000 jobs.