China says 'dual suspension' proposal
still best for North Korea
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[November 16, 2017]
BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on
Thursday a "dual suspension" proposal to handle North Korea was still
the best option, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he and Chinese
President Xi Jinping had rejected a "freeze for freeze" agreement.
North Korea's rapid progress in developing nuclear weapons and missiles
has fueled a surge in regional tension and U.N.-led sanctions appear to
have failed to bite deeply enough to change its behavior.
China and Russia have proposed that the United States and South Korea
stop major military exercises in exchange for North Korea halting its
China formally calls the idea the "dual suspension" proposal.
Speaking on his return from Asia on Wednesday, Trump said he and Xi had
rejected a "freeze for freeze" agreement, but it was not clear if he was
referring to the "dual suspension" idea, which China's foreign minister
announced in March.
Asked how China understood Trump's remarks, and if he agreed with
Trump's characterization of what Trump said he agreed with Xi, Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said only through talks that
addressed all sides legitimate security concerns could there be a
"We believe that the 'dual suspension' proposal is the most feasible,
fair and sensible plan in the present situation," Geng told a daily news
"Not only can it relieve the present tense situation, it can also
resolve all parties most pressing security concerns, and provide an
opportunity and create conditions to resume talks, and find a
breakthrough point to get out of trouble," he added.
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President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping arrive for a
state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China,
November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
The "dual suspension" is just a first step and not the end point,
"We hope that all sides can conscientiously treat and proactively
consider China's proposal, and at the same time we welcome relevant
parties to put forward proposals that can benefit the promotion of a
peaceful resolution for the peninsula nuclear issue."
North Korea says it needs to develop its weapons to protect itself
from what it sees as U.S. aggression. It sees U.S.-South Korean
military exercises as preparations for invasion.
South Korea and the United States, which has about 28,000 troops in
South Korea, say their exercises are "defensive in nature".
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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