In a rare appeal, China has called on North Korea to allow international inspections of its nuclear facilities amid signs that recent tension on the Korean peninsula might be easing, the Financial Times reports.
Beijing, Pyongyang’s only ally, has refused to criticise it publicly despite coming under intense pressure since a North Korean attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong in November.
“We support North Korea to make peaceful use of nuclear energy, but it should also respect inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency under the framework of the six-party talks,” said Jiang Yu, foreign ministry spokeswoman.
Her remarks came after Bill Richardson, the US governor of New Mexico, said after a private trip to North Korea that Pyongyang had agreed to do just that. “The specifics are that they will allow IAEA personnel to go to [North Korea’s main nuclear site] Yongbyon to ensure that they are not processing highly enriched uranium, that they are proceeding with peaceful purposes,’’ Mr Richardson told reporters during transit at Beijing Airport.
Ms Jiang said China had “taken note” of Mr Richardson’s reported comments. “The situation remains very complicated and sensitive,” she added, reiterating China’s repeated calls for restraint from all sides and a resumption of the six-party talks.
Read the entire story at ft.com
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