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China reiterates dialogue on N. Korea ‘only right choice’

The Chinese Foreign Minister has warned that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is “at a critical point,” reiterating that negotiations were “the only right choice” to defuse the tensions and avoid chaos.

“Right now, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is under grave tension and at a critical point,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the United Nations before a Security Council meeting on North Korea on Friday.

He stressed that world powers must work to “uphold peace and stability on the peninsula and not to allow chaos to break out on the peninsula.”

“Peaceful settlements of the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula through dialogue and negotiations represent the only right choice that is practical and viable,” Wang added.

Wang also hailed as “sensible and reasonable” China’s long-standing proposal for a freeze on North Korea’s military programs in exchange for halting US-South Korea military drills. Washington, however, has rejected the proposal.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed his concern over the risk of military escalation in Northeast Asia, “including by miscalculation or misunderstanding.”

He denounced “in the strongest terms” Pyongyang’s repeated defiance of the UN Security Council’s calls to stop its nuclear and missile tests.

Guterres said commercial satellite images indicate North Korea’s nuclear test site remains “in a state of readiness to conduct additional nuclear test explosions.”

The UN chief stressed that the international community needs to act now “to prevent conflict and achieve sustainable peace.”

He also urged North Korea to refrain from further testing, comply with UN resolutions and explore the resumption of dialogue.

“This means reopening and strengthening communication channels, particularly military to military, to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding,” Guterres added.