China on Friday expressed its concern over the declaration by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), saying it would continue to work on peaceful settlement of nuclear issues of the DPRK.
"We are concerned about the DPRK's announcement to withdraw from the treaty, as well as consequences possibly caused by the withdrawal," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said here Friday.
Zhang said the nuclear NPT had great significance in preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons while promoting international peace and security.
China hoped to see the universality of the treaty to be maintained, and would continue to devote itself to promoting peaceful settlement of the DPRK's nuclear issues, she said.
The DPRK government on Friday declared its withdrawal from the nuclear NPT, a move that further escalated the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula.
The DPRK joined the NPT in Dec. 1985. Pyongyang withdrew from the treaty in March 1993 but returned to the pact in Oct. 1994 under the Agreed Framework reached by the United States and DPRK in Geneva.
(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2003)