China Promises to Work Toward North Korea Denuclearization

The Chinese government on Monday promised to work hard toward the goal of ending North Korea's nuclear-arms work, the Yonhap News Agency reports.

"We will resolutely push forward with the denuclearization process of the [Korean] Peninsula, while resolving the issue through dialogue, and safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in an editorial that ran in the Chinese Communist Party's official journal Study Times.

During a visit to Beijing last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged China to do more to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapon ambitions. Following his meeting with Wang and other top Chinese government leaders, the U.S. foreign policy chief told journalists that Beijing was ready to pursue additional measures if Pyongyang does not cease its atomic activities.

"They made it very clear that if the North doesn't comply and come to the table and be serious about talks and stop its program ... they are prepared to take additional steps in order to make sure that their policy is implemented," Kerry was quoted by Yonhap as saying.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin is traveling to Pyongyang this week for a four-day trip. Beijing is restarting high-level bilateral meetings with the North that were briefly frozen following North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's surprise December purge of his powerful uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who was seen as an advocate of Chinese-style economic reforms.

Meanwhile, a United Nations panel on Monday suggested that Kim could be put on trial for human rights crimes perpetuated by North Korean entities that he personally controls, the New York Times reported.

The panel released a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council that outlined a number of abuses perpetuated by the Kim regime, including torture, murder and enslavement. The committee said it would recommend the abuses be referred to the International Criminal Court. Pyongyang has castigated the panel's findings.

February 18, 2014
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The Chinese government on Monday promised to work hard toward the goal of ending North Korea's nuclear-arms work, the Yonhap News Agency reports.

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