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Chinese leader Hu urges N.Korea not to launch rocket

Posted March. 26, 2012 23:49,   


Chinese President Hu Jintao urged North Korea Monday not to proceed with its planned launch of a long-range rocket next month, saying North Korea is "wrong to launch a satellite and advised to give up." He also said Pyongyang should focus on improving its people’s livelihood.

In comments made in his summit talks with President Lee Myung-bak at the latter`s office in Seoul, Hu also said, “(The Chinese government) has been closely communicating with North Korea on this issue several times,” adding, “We`re making efforts to persuade the North to give up (the launch).”

Since Beijing had not openly expressed its opposition to Pyongyang`s previous launches of long-range rockets, Hu`s demand that the North change its priorities and focus on improving its people’s livelihood is considered unusual.

China, which had sided with North Korea on its 2010 attack on the South Korean naval corvette Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island, has thus made a unanimous voice with South Korea for the first time in years.

On China’s forced repatriation of North Korean defectors, presidents Lee and Hu agreed that China understands South Korea under the principle of humanitarianism and that Seoul considers Beijing`s position.

A South Korean official said, “The South Korean government has halted its ‘silent diplomacy’ and raised its voice lately, but the two leaders agreed that Seoul will tone down its public statements and that China will refrain from forcibly repatriating North Korean defectors.”

Hu`s visit to Seoul was his third to South Korea, and the two leaders held their 10th summit talks Monday.

President Lee also held talks in the afternoon with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who said, “North Korea’s rocket launch is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and an undesirable move that will destabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula.” “North Korea should feed its own people first before pursuing a rocket launch. It shouldn`t depend on foreign aid forever. It can achieve economic development only when it changes.”

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