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Chinese envoy points finger at negative US role in stoking escalation on Korean Peninsula

Liu Xiaoming criticized the United States for not having paid due attention to North Korea’s security concerns

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Beijing is extremely concerned about the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with the United States playing a negative role by holding joint drills with South Korea, Liu Xiaoming, Beijing’s special representative on Korean Peninsula affairs, said in an interview with TASS.

"My trip [to Moscow] comes against the backdrop of the latest changes on the Korean Peninsula. On the one hand, we can often hear Westerners - both the Europeans and the Americans - complain that since last year North Korea has conducted a number of missile launches, while on the other hand, we can see that South Korea and the Americans held the largest drills over the past five years [on the peninsula]," the senior Chinese diplomat lamented. "The escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula is ongoing, and this only raises our level of concern," he added.

Liu also criticized the United States for not having paid due attention to North Korea’s security concerns.

"First of all, we should give our European and Russian counterparts a clear understanding of how we view the situation. The Americans always blame North Korea for causing tensions, but there is another reason that is worth noting. We see the reason as stemming from the US conducting such major military exercises. Second, a very important cause of instability on the Korean Peninsula, and of the Korean Peninsula becoming an issue, is that the United States has not paid due attention to North Korea’s concerns in the field of security and has imposed economic sanctions," the Chinese envoy said. "They always put on the pressure by containing North Korea’s development; they exert political pressure and have imposed economic sanctions," he added.

According to Liu, the goal of his tour is to share the Chinese vision of the situation on the Korean Peninsula with various counterparts and to find a recipe for promoting a political settlement jointly with European and Russian counterparts.

The senior Chinese diplomat said Moscow was the last stop on his 24-day foreign itinerary, during which he said he had already visited Switzerland, Great Britain, Brussels, Germany and France.

Liu urged efforts to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula. "Amid the lack of a peace mechanism, the escalation of tensions is ongoing, which threatens peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," he concluded.