North Korea Voices Complaint Against China Via Rebukes On Trilateral Summit: Seoul

(MENAFN- IANS) Seoul, May 28 (IANS) North Korea appears to have indirectly expressed its complaint against Beijing when it slammed a joint declaration issued after the latest trilateral summit among leaders of South Korea, China and Japan, Seoul's Unification Ministry said on Tuesday.

The North Korea's Foreign Ministry denounced South Korea on Monday for stating its commitment to denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in the joint declaration with Japan and China, rejecting it as "wanton interference" in North Korea's internal affairs, Yonhap news agency reported.

The angry reaction came hours after President Yoon Suk Yeol, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese Premier Li Qiang met in Seoul, marking the resumption of a long-stalled trilateral summit after four-and-a- half years. They reaffirmed their commitment to promoting peace and stability on the peninsula.

The Unification Ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs said Pyongyang's condemnation seems to be aimed at marring Seoul's diplomacy with Tokyo and Beijing, and hampering the spirit of the joint declaration of the trilateral summit.

"Though the North Korea's rebukes were focused on South Korea, it was rare for North Korea to publicly denounce a (diplomatic) meeting attended by China," a Ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

North Korea has not publicly denounced summit meetings involving China's top officials, except the 2015 summit between South Korea and China.

The Ministry official noted that North Korea dubbed the latest trilateral summit as the South Korea-Japan-China summit, not as the summit involving China, Japan and the South Korea in its previous order of countries.

North Korea also warned on Monday that if "anyone" tries to preach the benefits of denuclearisation, the country will regard it as the most serious infringement upon sovereignty. Some experts said "anyone" here could mean China.

North Korea's strong reaction rather illustrates the significance of the joint declaration, Lim Soo-suk, Seoul's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, said.

"As confirmed by numerous UN Security Council resolutions, North Korea's complete abandonment of nuclear weapons and its denuclearisation are the consensus and unified goal of the international community," Lim said in a briefing.

"The strong backlash from North Korea shows that the joint declaration of the summit was significant," Lim added.

"North Korea will never be recognised as a nuclear-armed state," Lim added, urging Pyongyang to return to the path of denuclearisation.

For North Korea, it could be disturbing to see that China has held a three-way summit with South Korea and Japan at a time when Beijing appears to be cautious about joining Pyongyang's drive to deepen trilateral solidarity with Russia and China.

Still, other observers said North Korea might have taken into account China, as the country launched its military spy satellite on Monday night after Li left Seoul. A new rocket carrying the satellite exploded in a mid-air flight.

Meanwhile, the Ministry official said it will likely take time for North Korea to determine the cause of the failure in the latest satellite launch, given that it did not disclose the timing of its future launch.

Pyongyang earlier said it will fire three more spy satellites in 2024, after it successfully placed its first spy satellite into orbit in November.



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