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S. Korea, China to maintain communication, cooperate on N. Korea issue

All Headlines 23:58 September 10, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- Top nuclear envoys of South Korea and China agreed to communicate and work with each other in regards to North Korea's nuclear ambitions that were again highlighted by Pyongyang's latest nuke test, the foreign ministry here said Saturday.

Kim Hong-kyun, Seoul's special representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs at the foreign ministry, spoke with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei on the phone and discussed countermeasures in response to the North's fifth nuclear test conducted on Friday, according to the ministry.

This marked the first exchange between high-ranking diplomatic officials from the neighbors since the North detonated its strongest nuclear device to date. After detonating its first nuclear device in 2006, the North carried out other tests in 2009, 2013 and January of this year.

"Both agreed to keep open the lines of communication and cooperate with each other in regards to the North's nuclear issue, including future countermeasures," the ministry said in a press release posted on its website.

During the talks, Wu mentioned that China's foreign ministry earlier issued a statement in which it made clear that Beijing strongly objected to the North's nuclear test.

The diplomat noted that China will never recognize the North as a nuclear state, nor will it condone the country owning nuclear weapons. The ministry also quoted him as saying that Beijing stands firm on denuclearization, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

During the phone conversation, Kim emphasized the need for "swift" and "strong" action, including United Nations Security Council sanctions, to deal with the North's continued provocations in defiance of global condemnation, the ministry said.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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