China hopes for restart of N. Korea negotiations

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — China’s foreign ministry says it hopes all parties to the North Korean nuclear dispute will “show their political courage” in restarting negotiations, and pledges its support in working toward that goal.

Spokesman Geng Shuang on Friday said China welcomes and supports the “positive inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korea interactions.”

Geng told reporters at a regularly scheduled press briefing that China hope that all parties “will continue to strive for the political resolution and lasting peace and stability on the peninsula.”

China is North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, although it has agreed to increasingly harsh United Nations economic sanctions in a bid to steer the North back to talks. In the 2000s, Beijing hosted several rounds of six-nation denuclearization talks involving the Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the U.S.