China expresses concern over DPRK satellite launch Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A senior Chinese diplomat said China has conveyed its concern over a plan of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to launch a satellite in April.

Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Luo Zhaohui made the remarks at a press briefing here on Tuesday.

According to Luo, China's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei met with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho on Monday. Senior diplomats Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu have also kept in contact with all relevant sides.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said senior diplomats also exchanged views with ambassadors from DPRK, Russia, the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan.

"China has expressed its stance and concern to all sides, and urged them to keep calm and restrained," Luo said, adding the stability of DPRK is in all sides' interests.

Luo also called on the United States and DPRK to cherish the consensus they reached in February, saying that is the "dawn of peace" on the Korean Peninsula.

"We hope the two sides will maintain contact and dialogue, and cherish the consensus," Luo said.

Hong also urged all relevant sides to make joint efforts for an appropriate handling of current situation.

"It is in all sides' interests to maintain the peace and stability in Northeast Asia and along the Korean Peninsula. This is also their common responsibility," Hong said.

He added that China will keep close communication with all sides.

The DPRK announced on March 16 that it will launch in April an "earth observation" satellite, or the Kwangmyongsong-3, using a long-range rocket to mark the 100th birthday of its late leader Kim Il-Sung.

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Editor: Mo Honge
Source: Xinhua