Russia, China, India call for restraint over North Korea
MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) - Russia, China and India on Friday, April 13, jointly called all parties in the standoff over North Korea to show restraint after the reclusive state's failed rocket launch sparked global concern.
Russia said it opposed adopting new UN Security Council sanctions against the reclusive regime while China said it wanted world and regional powers to take steps that would promote the resumption of stalled negotiations.
"We are convinced that the reaction to these challenges needs to be exclusively diplomatic and political," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said alongside his Chinese and Indian counterparts after a meeting in Moscow.
"We call on all parties to show maximum responsibility and restraint and to make efforts for a renewal of six party talks."
Lavrov said the frozen negotiations between two Koreas, the United States, Japan, Russia and China was a format "which has no alternative" as a means for solving the crisis on the Korean peninsula.
He said the Security Council, which was expected to discuss the launch later Friday, should offer a strong but "balanced" response.
"We do not believe in new sanctions. They would not do anything from the standpoint of settling the situation," said Lavrov.
North Korea said the much-heralded long-range rocket launch had failed when it plunged into the sea soon after lift-off.
The Russian foreign ministry said in a separate statement that the launch "aroused regret" and was an outright contradiction of a UN Security Council resolution as well as defying international pressure.
"This time, the failure of this cosmic experiment fortunately did not cause damage for other countries," it said.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said at a news conference alongside Lavrov that Beijing had been working hard to avoid future tensions and was disappointed with Pyongyang's decision to proceed with the launch.
"We have recently been working actively in this field and would like to see the situation improve. We take note of the fact that the satellite was launched, he said.
Yang said China was "concerned by North Korea's decision" and expressed hope that "the corresponding sides can show restraint".
"We hope that the corresponding sides, by supporting and restoring dialogue, will promote mutual understanding through joint efforts and promote the six party process," he added, speaking through an interpreter.
The three giant regional powers also recognized North Korea's right to pursue space exploration and said Pyongyang would be welcome to conduct launches once it cooperates with the United Nations.
North Korea's "right to use outer space for peaceful purposes can be realized exclusively in the context of the lifting of corresponding limitations," their joint statement said. - Agence France-Presse