China says DPRK leader meeting to happen when 'convenient'

Updated: 2015-03-08 12:14


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BEIJING - The leaders of China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will meet when it is convenient for them, China's foreign minister said on Sunday.

DPRK leader Kim Jong Un has yet to visit China, since assuming office after his father died in 2011, though he is expected to go to Russia this year.

"As to when leaders of the two countries will meet, it will have to suit the schedules of both sides," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session.

China cherishes its traditional friendship with the DPRK and will seek the normal development of the China-DPRK relations, Wang Yi said.

"China and DPRK are friendly neighbors. Chinese people emphasize good faith and value friendship. China cherishes its traditional friendship with the DPRK and will seek the normal development of our relations," Wang said.

"The China-DPRK relationship has a strong foundation. It should not and will not be affected by temporary events," he said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has met South Korea's President Park Geun-hye six times since both took office in 2012, underscoring strengthening ties.

The DPRK has conducted three nuclear tests, the last in February 2013, and is under UN sanctions for violating international warnings not to set off atomic devices in pursuit of a nuclear arsenal.

Wang said China has played a constructive role in bringing about a "basically stable" situation on the Korean Peninsula, and that it is in the common interests of all relevant parties to maintain peace and stability and achieve denuclearization.

Wang called for calm and restraint as "at the moment, the situation there has entered another delicate period."

"We call on the relevant countries to exercise calm and restraint and say and do things that will have positive effects, so as to continue to foster the atmosphere and conditions for resuming the six-party talks." Wang said.

China has repeatedly urged the DPRK to return to six-party talks that aimed to get the DPRK to halt its nuclear programme.

In 2009, the DPRK said it would never return to the talks which include the ROK, the United States, Japan and Russia.