Chinese FM discusses Korean Peninsula issue with Russian, Japan

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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Saturday discussed the latest situation on the Korean Peninsula in phone calls with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and Japanese foreign minister Seiji Maehara.

The discussions follow an artillery exchange between South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in waters off the west coast of the divided peninsula on Tuesday.

During the conversations, Yang said safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula served the common interests of concerned parties.

Those parties should call on the DPRK and South Korea to exercise calmness and restraint and hold dialogue and make contacts, and not to take actions that would escalate the conflict, he said.

He said all parties should work together to help cool the situation as soon as possible and effectively ensure no repeat of such conflict.

Meanwhile, the Chinese minister expressed the hope that concerned parties would take a reasonable and pragmatic approach to actively create favorable conditions for resuming the six-party talks.

The parties should also commit themselves to establish related mechanisms at an early date to eliminate various factors threatening peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the whole region.

Lavrov said Russia agreed with China on the latest situation and was ready to keep close contact with China to help defuse the tensions on the peninsula and create conditions for a restart of the six-party talks.

Maehara said that Japan is willing to work together with China to jointly safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and push forward the denuclearization process of the Peninsula.

During Tuesday's incident, shells landed on South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island near the contentious sea border called Northern Limit Line (NLL). The clash left four South Koreans dead, while damages to the DPRK have yet to be verified.

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