China said Monday it has been "pleased" by last week's rare agreement by the two Koreas to halt harsh rhetoric toward each other and proceed with scheduled reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
South and North Korea held rare high-level meetings last week and agreed on the reunions, despite forthcoming South Korea-U.S. joint military drills. Such conciliatory steps were a stark contrast to last year's heightened tension triggered by the North's bellicose rhetoric against the annual drills.
"We are pleased to learn that the DPRK (North Korea) and the ROK (South Korea) agreed at the high-level talks that they will hold the reunion of separated families as scheduled, stop slandering each other and continue with their high-level talks," China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.
"China has long been supporting the two sides on the Korean Peninsula in improving relations," Hua said. "We hope that they will enhance cooperation and further ease the situation on the Peninsula."
The six-day reunion event will take place from Thursday at a mountain resort on the North's side of the border.
It will overlap with annual joint drills between South Korea and the U.S., which have long been denounced by North Korea as a prelude to an invasion.
Before last week's agreement, North Korea had threatened to cancel the reunion event if Seoul and Washington went ahead with the drills. (Yonhap)