China welcomes talks between two Koreas for improving ties

Beijing: China has welcomed the talks between North Korea and South Korea and has appreciated their effort to use the 2018 Winter Olympics for improving ties.

According to Xinhua, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson appreciated the upcoming talks between the two Koreas, saying that it was beneficial for achieving long-term peace in the Korean peninsula.

The spokesperson Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing: “We have noticed the positive information from the leaders of the two countries, and it is a good thing. China welcomes and supports both countries to take the 2018 Winter Olympics as an opportunity to make effective efforts to improve their relations, relax the situation on the Korean Peninsula and promote the denuclearization of the peninsula.”

This decision was taken, following North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s re-conciliatory New Year message in a televised address to the nation on Monday, over the latter’s probable participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics next month.

South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon on Tuesday sought to initiate the proposed talks with North Korea in a remote North Korean village called Panmunjom, located along the heavily-guarded Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).

A spokesperson of the South Korean presidential office welcomed that the North Korea has shown interest for participating in the upcoming Winter Olympics.

Seoul is open to talks “any time, any place and in any format”, said the spokesperson.

The Winter Olympics is scheduled to take place at South Korea’s Pyeongchang from February 9-25.

In a similar gesture, North Korea on Wednesday said that it will reopen the suspended inter-Korean communication hotline with South Korea, that was previously closed down in February 2016.

The proposed talks comes amid the increasing tension between the two countries as South Korea seized a Hong Kong-flagged oil tanker returning after allegedly transferring oil to North Korea few days ago.