BEIJING, August 21 /TASS/. China calls for stopping all activities leading to escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula and settling all the problems through negotiations, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Friday.
"China firmly stands for regional peace and stability and is opposed to any activities that can escalate tensions. We are urging the sides concerned to keep cool and show restraint; settle the current situation through contacts and dialogue and stop any actions, which could lead to the escalation of tensions," Hua Chunying said commenting on China’s stance on the recent incidents on the Korean peninsula.
"China, which is situated in close vicinity to the Korean peninsula, is paying great attention to the situation on the peninsula and is deeply concerned with the latest developments. The Chinese side is ready to exert every effort to achieve peace and stability on the peninsula together with all the parties concerned," she stressed.
The situation on the Korean peninsula aggravated seriously last Thursday after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) has exchanged fire with South Korea in the western part of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. According to the South Korean side, the North fired the first shots. The target was the loudspeakers, which South Korea is using in its propaganda campaign against Pyongyang. North Korea denies firing first.
The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army gave South Korea 48 hours to dismantle the loudspeakers and threatened to start combat operations if South Korea refused to remove them. The ultimatum expires at around 17:00 local time (11:00 Moscow time) on August 22.
North Korean Ambassador to Moscow Kim Hyun Joong on Friday explained Pyongyang’s official stance on a mine explosion that occurred in the Korean Demilitarized Zone on August 4.
The diplomat described the situation around the DPRK as explosive.
"The U.S. and South Korean provocations made in recent days have brought the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of war," the North Korean diplomat said.
"A very suspicious incident - a mine explosion - took place in the western part of the Korean Demilitarized Zone on August 4. The demilitarized zone along the demarcation line is a sheer minefield. That is why explosions can occur due to rains and fires. Natural disasters have recently caused simultaneous explosions of 140 mines," Kim Hyun Joong stressed.
The ambassador described the mine explosion incident as a deliberate show on the part of Seoul. "We have very strong armed forces and we are not going to use such primitive means as mines to punish South Korea if we want," the North Korean diplomat said.