The foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea met Sunday in the Chinese city of Ningbo for talks on regional security and cooperation days ahead of a planned North Korean rocket launch.
Chinese Foreign minister Yang Jiechi, Japan’s Koichiro Gemba and South Korea’s Kim Sung-Hwan posed for photographers before starting talks in the eastern city near Shanghai.
Receiving his guests Saturday, Yang said “China is concerned and worried about the latest development on the Korean peninsula,” according to the official Xinhua news agency.
“It is in the common interest of all sides to maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and realise long-term peace and stability in northeast Asia,” Yang said.
“China hoped all parties involved would keep calm and exert restraint,” Yang was reported as saying.
Beijing is Pyongyang’s main ally.
North Korea angered the United States and its regional allies Japan and South Korea with its announcement last month that it would launch a rocket between April 12 and 16, which it says is to put a satellite into orbit for peaceful purposes.
Washington, along with Tokyo and Seoul, regard it as a disguised ballistic missile test that would be in breach of UN resolutions and has called for Pyongyang to abandon its planned launch.
Japan has rejected an invitation from North Korea to send observers to attend the rocket launch, which is part of celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary on April 15 of the birth of founding leader Kim Il-Sung.