Last week's rare back-to-back visit by a senior Chinese diplomat to both Koreas was aimed at easing tension and promoting denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, China's foreign ministry said Monday, calling the visit "shuttle diplomacy."
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comments two days after China's Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin wrapped up his three-day visit to South Korea, immediately after a four-day trip to North Korea.
The highly unusual trip to both Koreas came shortly after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed with Chinese leaders in Beijing specific ideas to revive the long-stalled six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programs.
"This time, Vice Foreign Minister Liu visited the DPRK (North Korea) and the ROK (South Korea) as part of shuttle diplomacy," Hua told reporters during a regular press briefing.
The priority of Liu's visits was "working to ease tension on the peninsula, to prevent previous tension and promote the process of denuclearization," Hua said, adding his visit "was well received by both the DPRK and the ROK."
"China will continue to work with relevant parties to uphold regional peace and stability and properly settle the Korean nuclear issue," Hua said. "We hope that all relevant parties will work toward the same goal with China for this end."
The six-party talks, involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan, have been dormant since late 2008.
South Korea and the U.S. insist that the six-party forum should reopen only when North Korea shows its readiness to disarm through action. China, along with North Korea, insists on no conditions being attached. (Yonhap)