China repeats call for restraint as North Korea tensions build

China and Russia are backing a resolution to ease sanctions on the North to kick-start stalled denuclearisation talks.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been ratcheting up the pressure on the US with denuclearisation talks stalled [KCNA via Reuters]
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been ratcheting up the pressure on the US with denuclearisation talks stalled [KCNA via Reuters]

    China repeated its call for restraint and compromise on Thursday as renewed provocations from North Korea heighten fears it will break off talks with the United States and conduct a significant weapons test.

    Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui told reporters tensions on the Korean Peninsula have somewhat risen over North Korea, but the overall situation has not deviated from a track of dialogue and consultation.

    More:

    "We hope that the concerned parties will practice restraint and meet each other halfway, and work through dialogue to realise positive interactions and quickly find a meeting point to find a resolution," Luo said.

    The US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun, who is on a tour of the region, is set to arrive in the Chinese capital on Thursday for talks.

    Japan Biegun
    US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun (left) is expected in China on Thursday after visits to Japan and South Korea [Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo]

    Pyongyang has conducted a series of weapons tests and waged a war of words with US President Donald Trump in recent weeks, stoking fears the two countries could return to a collision course.

    Luo on Thursday touted China and Russia's joint United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the removal of some sanctions against Pyongyang as the best proposal to resolve the current standoff. 

    Washington has opposed any removal of sanctions against Pyongyang and has veto power in the 15-member Security Council. It is unclear when or if the draft resolution will be put to a vote.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency