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China FM warns of 'chaos,' flagging veiled criticism of N. Korea

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

By Kim Deok-hyun

BEIJING, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) -- In another veiled criticism of its wayward ally North Korea, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday accused nations of trying to bring "chaos" to Northeast Asia, while calling for a swift resumption of the long-stalled talks on the North's nuclear program.

"No one should attempt to bring chaos to this region or pursue selfish interests," Wang told a forum in Beijing organized by his ministry to mark the 10th anniversary of the launch of the six-party talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear ambitions.

Wang did not mention North Korea by name, but his remarks were echoed by similar comments by Chinese President Xi Jinping in April that, "No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gains."

North Korea spiked tensions on the Korean Peninsula earlier this year, by defying international warnings, including those of China, and conducting its third nuclear test in February. At one point, Pyongyang threatened nuclear strikes on Seoul and Washington.

Tensions have been gradually eased and the two Koreas are now engaged in dialogues on inter-Korean reconciliation projects. This week, Seoul and Pyongyang resumed operations at the inter-Korean industrial complex that was shut down in April amid heightened military tensions.

"Recently, there have been positive changes on the Korean Peninsula," Wang said. "The situation has moved from a high degree of tensions to relative relaxation, and from strong and serious confrontation to the restart of talks."

However, Wang said, "The situation on the peninsula is still fragile and uncertain.

"Therefore, the parties should properly handle and approach the situation, exercise restraint, avoid provocative measures against each other in order to maintain the current momentum of relaxation," Wang said.

The one-day forum in Beijing, which was attended by North Korea's chief nuclear envoy, Kim Kye-gwan, came amid renewed efforts by China to revive the six-party channel, but South Korea, the U.S. and Japan have shown a cool response in the absence of a clear North Korean willingness to disarm.

Repeating China's long-held stance, Wang called for nations involved in the six-party talks to restart the multilateral process "at an early date."

"On the basis of reaffirming their commitment to denuclearization, they should demonstrate sincerity for the resolution of this issue and take constructive steps for dialogue and a restart of the six-party talks at an early date," Wang said.

"By doing so, the Korean nuclear issue can be put on a sustainable and irreversible process of solution," he said.

The off-and-on forum that involves the two Koreas, China, the U.S., Japan and Russia has been stalled since late 2008.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130918/china-fm-warns-chaos-flagging-veiled-criticism-n-korea