China Tuesday called for the nations involved in long-stalled nuclear talks with North Korea to make efforts to resume the talks at an earlier date, although Pyongyang has shown no signs of giving up its nuclear ambitions.
China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the comments in response to a question about recent U.S. military assessments of North Korea's advances in nuclear and missile capabilities.
"We hope that the parties concerned can make joint efforts to restart the six-party talks as soon as possible and advance the process of negotiations," Hong said at a regular press briefing.
The six-party talks, involving South Korea, North Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan, have been dormant since late 2008 and diplomatic efforts to resume the talks have failed to produce a tangible outcome.
While North Korea has showed no signs of abandoning its nuclear weapons program, South Korea's top nuclear envoy Hwang Joon-kook said last month that the five nations of the six-party talks besides North Korea have agreed on certain conditions to resume "exploratory dialogue" on Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.
Still, it remains uncertain whether North Korea will accept such conditions, Hwang said.
North Korea has conducted three underground nuclear tests so far, in 2006, 2009 and 2013. The country has also conducted a series of long-range missile or rocket launches since 1998. In its latest launch in late 2012, the North succeeded in putting a satellite into orbit. (Yonhap)