China hopes the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will begin talks on an equal footing as soon as possible, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Tang Jiaxuan said in Beijing Monday.
In his meeting with visiting US Secretary of State Colin Powell Monday morning, Tang said China supported the non-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula and insisted on maintaining peace, stability and security on the peninsula.
He said China held that the DPRK nuclear issue should be settled peacefully through dialogue and consultation.
China had been playing a constructive role in seeking such a solution, the foreign minister said, adding the Chinese side believed that the most effective way to break the current deadlock and ease the tension would be talks between the United States and the DPRK on an equal footing.
Powell said the nuclear issue in the DPRK was in a serious situation. He said a dialogue between the United States and the DPRK was necessary, but the involvement of the international community and the role of multilateral mechanisms were indispensable. The United States wanted to resolve the issue through diplomatic means, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency February 24, 2003)