China

China’s Xi Urges France To Help Restart Talks On North Korea

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping told French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday that he hoped France could play a “constructive role” in restarting talks on North Korea, state TV said, days after the reclusive country conducted its sixth nuclear test.

“The Korean peninsula nuclear issue in the end can only be resolved through peaceful means, including through dialogue and consultations, Xi said in a telephone call with Macron. Macron said France was working to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and valued China’s role in resolving the issue, China Central Television said.

China hosted the on-gain, off-again six-party talks on North Korea, including Japan, Russia, the United States and the two Koreas, that fizzled out in 2008. Tension on the Korean peninsula has escalated as North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, has stepped up the
development of weapons in defiance of UN sanctions, testing a string of missiles this year, including one flying over Japan, and conducting its sixth and biggest nuclear test on Sunday.

Experts believe the isolated regime is close to its goal of developing a powerful nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States, something U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to prevent. Xi discussed North Korea in calls with Trump on Wednesday and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday. Trump has urged China, North Korea’s lone major ally, to do more to rein in its neighbour.