China, Russia urge end to North Korea vicious cycle

NEW YORK (AFP) – The Chinese and Russian foreign ministers called for a peaceful end to the “vicious cycle” on the Korean peninsula as they met in New York for the UN General Assembly, Beijing said yesterday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov urged all parties to seek a “peaceful resolution” to the current stand-off with Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons programme, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The Korean Peninsula nuclear problem must be solved through peaceful means,” it quoted Wang as saying, adding that “the current deepening vicious cycle must be broken”.

“Restoring peace talks is also a necessary step to carrying out the UN Security Council’s resolution,” he said.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. – AFP

Lavrov said Russia’s position on the issue is “completely identical” to China’s, the statement said.

Russia has joined China’s call for a “dual-track” approach in which North Korea suspends its weapons programme in return for the United States halting military drills in the region. The White House said earlier that US President Donald Trump had spoken with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping over the phone, saying the two leaders were “committed to maximising

pressure on North Korea through vigorous enforcement of United Nations Security Council resolutions”.

Trump is currently in New York for the UN General Assembly but Xi – who has a major Communist Party congress next month that will cement his leadership for the next five years – is not attending the event.