China 'worried' about N Korea rocket launch
China's foreign minister said his country was "worried" by North Korea's impending rocket launch, as the regime in Pyongyang again insisted it was to send a peaceful satellite and not a missile.world Updated: Apr 09, 2012 10:12 IST
China's foreign minister said his country was "worried" by North Korea's impending rocket launch, as the regime in Pyongyang again insisted it was to send a peaceful satellite and not a missile.
Yang Jiechi told his South Korean and Japanese counterparts on Sunday that peace on the Korean peninsula was in the interests of all, according to a foreign ministry statement.
"Yang Jiechi said China is concerned and worried about the developments on the issue," said the statement, released late Sunday after the three ministers met in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo.
"China calls upon relevant parties to focus on the overall situation and look in the long-term, and to remain calm and exercise restraint and to use diplomacy and peaceful means to adequately resolve relevant problems."
Concerns are growing over North Korea's rocket launch, slated between April 12 and April 16, despite assurances from the nuclear-armed nation that it was to send a peaceful scientific satellite and not a ballistic missile.
Japan has deployed missile batteries to protect Tokyo and dispatched three Aegis destroyers carrying interceptor missiles, reportedly to the East China Sea.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has given the green light to shoot down the rocket if it threatens Japan's territory.
The secretive North Korean regime organised an unprecedented visit for foreign reporters to the Tongchang-ri space centre to disprove missile test claims by the US and its allies, where its head called the accusations "nonsense."
Yang also called for the resumption of six-party talks involving North and South Korea, the US, China, Russia and Japan, stalled since the last meeting in December 2008.