DTN News - KOREAN PENINSULA NEWS: China Troubled By North Korean Rocket Launch Plans
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 8, 2012: China's foreign minister said Sunday that Beijing is troubled by North Korea's plan to launch a long-range rocket and has urged more diplomacy to handle the situation, a measured response to a provocation that has unsettled the region.
Yang Jiechi said he discussed North Korea's launch plan during trilateral talks with his counterparts from Seoul and Tokyo in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo.
The foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea both said that a launch by North Korea would violate UN Security Council resolutions -- indicating their belief that the North should face sanctions if it goes through with the plan.
But China, the North's closest ally, didn't echo that view and instead urged further dialogue and communication.
"The Chinese side is troubled by the developments, and strongly encourages everyone involved on all sides, at high and low levels, to remain calm and reasonable," Yang told reporters. "These issues need to be worked out in a diplomatic and peaceful manner."
North Korea says the rocket will carry a satellite into orbit to study crops and natural resources. Washington and others call the launch a cover to test missile systems that could target parts of the United States.
There have been fears in Japan and South Korea that debris could fall from the rocket, expected to be launched in the coming week. Japan's defence minister has ordered missile units to intercept the rocket if it or its fragments threaten to hit Japan. Seoul has also warned it might shoot down any parts of the rocket heading for its territory.
Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said the key result of the talks was a plan to continue to work together to stop the launch.