China seeks early US-N. Korea talks

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"Recent developments may seem baffling to some people but are actually within the bounds of reason", Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a press conference on Thursday.

Wang further highlighted the impact of dialogue in easing out the tensions between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea during the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

The double suspension "has created basic conditions for the improvement of inter-Korean relations", he said regarding the summit in April between leaders of the two Koreas.

South Korea has said the North has indicated it is prepared to give up its nuclear weapons programme - a defining feature of its politics for decades - if the U.S. agrees to guarantee its security.

As for a US threat to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a "trade war is not the right solution", Wang told reporters on the sidelines of the National People's Congress, China's parliament, whose annual session started Monday.

China had been proposing that USA and South Korea should stop their war games directed at the North in exchange for Pyongyang suspending its nuclear and missile programmes.

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But foreign ministry officials have cautioned it is too early to assume the talks will bring a lasting breakthrough on the central issue - nuclear weapons. It's an "important step" in the "right direction" for solving the Korean issue, Wang said, and China gives its affirmation and support to the efforts of both Pyongyang and Seoul in that regard. Pyongyang's security concerns should be addressed in return for a pledge to denuclearize, he said.

Foreign Minister said that the mega Belt and Road project of China to develop Silk Road will have no backdoor deals and will follow all the global rules.

China has been the largest trading partner of ASEAN for nine consecutive years.

"China's determination to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea is firm and consistent", Wang said, brushing aside fears about the Asian power's growing assertiveness in the contested waters.

A new blueprint for cooperation between the two sides will be fostered this year.

Those visits and meetings that "go a long way toward deepening the world's understanding of China, enhancing China's profile and influence, and facilitating the solution of many global problems", he said.

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