China worried about Korean Peninsula tensions: FM

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China here on Monday expressed concern about the rise of tension on the Korean Peninsula, as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) reportedly fired shells near their disputed western maritime border.

"We urge all relevant parties to maintain calm, exercise restraint and refrain from acts going against peace and stability on the peninsula," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei at a daily press briefing.

"The current situation on the peninsula is quite vulnerable, and safeguarding peace and stability conforms with the common interests of all relevant parties," he said.

"China is concerned about the developments of the case," the spokesman added.

It is the clear and firm position of China to realize denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, safeguard peace and stability there, and solve the issues through talks and consultations, Hong said.

The ROK Defense Ministry said on Monday that its military fired back after DPRK artillery shells fell south of the western sea border.

On Monday, the DPRK began a live-fire drill near the disputed western maritime border with the ROK.

The UN Security Council issued a statement on Friday, condemning the DPRK's recent ballistic missile launches.

Lashing out at the condemnation, the DPRK's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it will "not rule out a new form of nuclear test" to bolster its nuclear deterrence. Endi

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