Night Watch

South Korea-China: In a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in The Hague on Sunday, President Park Geun-hye conveyed South Korea's conditional willingness to restart the Six-Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear program. Her office released a statement.

"President Park said that various options can be studied with regard to dialogue resumption if there are guarantees that real progress can be made in denuclearization efforts and that North Korea will be prevented from advancing its nuclear capabilities."

Park said that it is impossible for North Korea to develop nuclear weapons while concurrently developing its economy. Xi said that China clearly opposes North Korea possessing nuclear weapons and is sincerely carrying out related United Nations Security Council resolutions. Though there are differences between Beijing and Pyongyang on the nuclear issue, China is trying to persuade the North, Xi was quoted as saying.

According to the South Korean press release, the two leaders reaffirmed their existing positions that a nuclear North Korea is unacceptable and the North must be denuclearized.

China: On Monday, after a meeting with President Obama on the sidelines of the nuclear security summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the only correct way to solve the North Korean nuclear issue is "to restart negotiations."

Xi said, "China has major interests and concerns on the Korean Peninsula and firmly commits itself to realizing the denuclearization of and to safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula."

Xi urged all parties to implement the goals set in a joint statement released on 19 September 2005 at the conclusion of the fourth round of the Six-Party Talks held in Beijing. That statement affirmed, among other things, that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) promised to abandon all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, and, in return, the United States and South Korea said they would accommodate the DPRK's security concerns.

The Chinese president said his country is willing to keep close contact and coordination with the United States and other relevant countries on the issue.

Comment: Xi stated in the clearest terms used by any Chinese leader that China opposes North Korea's nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons programs. This is the second tough statement in a month about Korea. On 8 March Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that instability and war on the Korean Peninsula represent a red line for China. Xi's statement reiterated Wang's.

Night Watch

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