China discusses Kim's death with Japan, Russia

21st December 2011, Comments 0 comments

China has held talks with Japan and Russia on the importance of maintaining stability on the Korean Peninsula after the weekend death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, state media said Wednesday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi spoke by telephone with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Yang told his counterparts that "safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula serves the common interests of all parties" and China was ready to work with its neighbours to ensure that happened, Xinhua said.

Russia and Japan pledged to maintain "close communication and coordination with China", the report added.

The discussion followed telephone talks between Yang and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan.

Beijing, Pyongyang's closest ally, has thrown its backing behind Kim Jong-Un, the third son and chosen successor of Kim Jong-Il, whose death was announced by North Korean state media on Monday.

China is expected to boost support for its nuclear-armed neighbour as it seeks to avoid a potentially destabilising power struggle in the Stalinist regime that could lead to a flood of North Korean refugees across its border.

China, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States are part of the six-party nuclear talks, which stalled after North Korea quit the forum in April 2009, a month before staging its second nuclear test.

© 2011 AFP

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