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N Korea at crossroads

South Korea minister urges China to back talks with North

Beijing says it will play a constructive role in the Korean peninsula issue

China says it will play a constructive role in the Korean peninsula issue.   © Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) -- South Korea's foreign minister told his Chinese counterpart on Monday the country expects China to actively support South Korea's efforts for dialogue with North Korea, South Korea's foreign ministry said.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi told South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin in a video conference call that China will play a constructive role in the Korean peninsula issue, a ministry statement said.

During the call, Park expressed concern about North Korea's actions including a record number of ballistic missile launches this year, adding North Korea must refrain from further provocations such as potential nuclear tests and engage in dialogue, the ministry added.

In November, South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol in a Reuters interview urged China to help dissuade the North from pursuing banned development of nuclear weapons and missiles.

China, North Korea's closest ally, should fulfill its responsibilities as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, Yoon said, adding that not doing so would lead to an influx of military assets to the region.

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