Xi says Korean Peninsula should be nuclear-free and talks needed

Oct. 7, 2013 at 10:24 AM

BALI, Indonesia, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- The Korean Peninsula should be nuclear-free, with issues in the region resolved through peaceful talks, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday.

Xi stressed his support for those goals during a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Park Geun-hye, on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation on the Indonesian island of Bali, Xinhua reported Monday.

China is one the participants in the stalled six-party negotiations aimed at resolving concerns about nuclear weapons in North Korea. The others are the two Koreas, Japan, Russia and the United States.

North Korea tested an underground nuclear device in February, its third since 2006.

Park told Xi North Korea was putting its people in jeopardy by focusing too much on nuclear weapons.

"[North Korea] can't pour everything into nuclear weapons at a time when many North Korean people are said to be suffering from chronic malnutrition," she was quoted as saying by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency. "I hope China will work hard to persuade North Korea to concentrate on economic development."

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