China calls for joint efforts to safeguard stability of Korean Peninsula

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China on Thursday again called on the relevant parties to make joint efforts to safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a regular press briefing.

The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) exchanged artillery fire Tuesday in waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula, leaving four people dead.

Hong initially expressed China's stance Wednesday with regard to the exchange of fire between the ROK and the DPRK.

On Thursday, Hong again called on parties involved to stay calm and exercise restraint, and urged the ROK and DPRK to engage in dialogue and refrain from similar actions.

China has always maintained that the relevant parties resolve disputes through negotiations and by peaceful means and be committed to safeguarding peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, Hong said.

China opposed any acts that harmed the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, he went on.

"It is very urgent and important to restart the six-party talks at the current stage," Hong said, adding China had maintained close contact with all the parties involved, including the United States.

He said China hoped parties involved could make concerted efforts to properly handle their concerns through talks and consultation within the framework of the six-party talks, which involved China, the DPRK, the United States, the ROK, Russia and Japan.

China would like to make concerted efforts with all parties to help ease tension, seek peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, Hong said.

With respect to the planned joint military drill between the United States and the ROK in waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula from Nov.28 to Dec. 1, Hong said China was concerned.

"China holds a consistent and clear stance on the issue," Hong said without elaborating.

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