• search

Reports of NKorea apology inaccurate: China

Written by: Staff

Beijing, Oct 24: Reports that North Korea had apologised for conducting a nuclear test were ''inaccurate'', China today said, adding there was no guarantee the reclusive state would not test again.

The remarks from Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao were China's first official reaction to media reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il told a visiting Chinese envoy that Pyongyang regretted the difficulties its October 9 nuclear test had caused its neighbour and did not plan another test.

''These reports are inaccurate. I haven't heard of Kim Jong-il apologising,'' Liu told a regular news conference.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had earlier cast doubt on the reports. She told reporters that the Chinese envoy, Tang Jiaxuan, had not mentioned the apology or no-test promise when she and Tang met in Beijing on Friday, a day after Tang met Kim in Pyongyang.

Speaking of Kim's remarks, Liu said: ''He (Kim) also indicated that the DPRK has no plans for a second nuclear test but if other countries impose more pressure, the DPRK may take further steps.'' The DPRK is the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Liu's comments appeared to be a warning that if goaded by international weapons and financial sanctions imposed in punishment for its test, the isolated nation could again defy international warnings with a second nuclear test.

In a sign China took Kim's threat seriously, Liu also warned against expanding the sanctions.

''All parties should not wilfully interpret or expand the sanctions,'' he said.

China, which has traditionally opposed sanctions and advocated dialogue, supported the UN Security Council action against North Korea and condemned the North's test in unusually forceful language.

But Beijing also fears any sanctions that could squeeze impoverished North Korea so tightly that it collapses, causing instability on its borders and a potential wave of refugees.

''Sanctions are not the end. They should serve the goal of peacefully settling the crisis through dialogue and consultation,'' Liu said.

He added that during Tang's visit, North Korea had restated that it was willing to return to six-party talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear programme.

The talks, which also group the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia, have been stalled for nearly a year.


Related Stories

Ban Ki-Moon heads to China for NKorea talks

North Korea weapons tests reduce food aid: UN

For Daily Alerts

For Breaking News from Oneindia
Get instant news updates throughout the day.

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more