UN envoy heads to DPRK

By Mo Jingxi in Beijing and Zhao Huanxin in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-12-05 11:31

The United Nations' political chief is heading to Pyongyang on Tuesday for a rare four-day visit en route from China, which has called the resurfacing of tensions on the Korean peninsula regrettable.

"In response to questions received on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman will remain in the Pyongyang area throughout his visit," the UN said in a statement on Monday, adding that Feltman met with Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Li Baodong on Monday in Beijing.

The unusual visit of Feltman - he will be only the second such official to visit Pyongyang in seven years - comes amid intensified tensions on the peninsula as Seoul and Washington kicked off their largest-ever five-day joint military air exercises on Monday, following Pyongyang's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov 29.

Pyongyang said that the drills would push the already acute situation to the brink of nuclear war, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

"Tensions resurfaced on the peninsula after two months of relative calm, and all related parties didn't catch the window of opportunity that China has appealed for them to take advantage of. China feels regret about it," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a joint news conference with his Mongolian counterpart in Beijing.

The foreign minister also said that while China takes an open-minded attitude toward solutions to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, all parties should jointly abide by the regulations and spirit of Security Council resolutions.

"The resolutions represent the common will of the international community, and they are the global duties that should be followed by all members," Wang said.

"Propositions and measures that are against or not included in the resolutions lack international legal support and will jeopardize the execution of UN resolutions," he explained.

US Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that he believes it's time to start moving the families of American military personnel out of South Korea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday that China hoped all parties would do more to help ease tensions and avoid provoking each other.

Wang Junsheng, an expert on Korean affairs at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said no party will win by continually flexing its muscles.

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