After Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced Thursday that North Korea has requested to enter into direct negotiations with the US, China has announced it encourages the diplomatic move and will agree to work with Russia in facilitating the talks.

North Korea asks for direct talks with the White House

North Korea asks for direct talks with the White House Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said early Friday that China encourages calm negotiations between the US and North Korea over the nuclear crisis.

“We hope all relevant parties can maintain calm and restraint and take steps to alleviate tensions and not provoke each other,” Shuang said. “The outbreak of war is not in any side’s interest. The ones that will suffer the most are ordinary people.”

Shuang’s comments come after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced yesterday (Thursday) that North Korea wants to engage in direct talks with the US, which Russia already agreed to facilitate.

“We know that North Korea wants above all to talk to the United States about guarantees for its security. We are ready to support that, we are ready to take part in facilitating such negotiations,” Lavrov said. “Our American colleagues, (including) Rex Tillerson, have heard this.” 

Lavrov reportedly already passed along Pyongyang’s wishes to US Secretary Rex Tillerson while the two attended an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference in Vienna on Thursday. Shuang added today that China would welcome working alongside Russia to facilitate such talks.