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Top army official calls for DPRK to denuclearize

A TOP Chinese army official has called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to move to denuclearization and asked all regional parties to stay calm after the DPRK's recent nuclear test.

"Our hope is that all parties concerned will remain cool-headed and take measures to address the problem," Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, told a meeting of Asian defence ministers in Singapore yesterday.

"Our stand on the issue is consistent. We are resolutely opposed to nuclear proliferation. Our view is that the Korean Peninsula should move toward denuclearization."

Ma said that the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on May 25 further complicated the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

He said China understands the concerns and worries of the international community on the recent development in the region.

Security threats

Ma told the summit that peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region requires all countries concerned to work together to promote cooperation in security.

"We are encouraged to see that the Asia-Pacific security situation is generally stable. Peace, development and cooperation remain the mainstream of the region," he said.

He said negative developments in Asia-Pacific security must not be neglected.

"Traditional and non-traditional security threats are interwoven, leading to a more complex regional security situation," Ma said.

He said multilateral dialogue and security cooperation mechanisms at different levels and in different fields should be encouraged in the Asia-Pacific region to cope with transnational threats and challenges such as terrorism, international crime, natural disasters and piracy.

Ma said security cooperation norms featuring "mutual respect, mutual trust, reciprocity and mutual benefit" should be established.

Countries in the region should actively engage in military diplomacy for enhanced mutual understanding and trust, he said.


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