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China calls for dialogue after North Korea missile test

By AFP   |   22 May 2017   |   9:37 am  

A man walks past a television showing a news report on North Korea’s latest missile test of a Pukguksong-2, at a railway station in Seoul on May 22, 2017. North Korea on May 22 declared its medium-range Pukguksong-2 missile ready for deployment after a weekend test, the latest step in its quest to defy UN sanctions and develop an intercontinental rocket capable of striking US targets. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je

China called on Monday for dialogue to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula after North Korea carried out a new missile test.

“The (UN) Security Council has clear stipulations prohibiting DPRK against using ballistic missiles and China opposes this as well,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing, using the initials of North Korea’s official name.

“The situation on the Korean peninsula is complex and sensitive. We urge all sides to avoid provoking each other and continue on the right track of dialogue and consultation,” she said.

North Korea on Monday declared its medium-range Pukguksong-2 missile ready for deployment after a weekend test, as it seeks to develop an intercontinental rocket capable of striking US targets.

China, Pyongyang’s main diplomatic and economic ally, has come under pressure to use its influence to compel North Korea to rein in its missile and nuclear programmes.

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday in response to the latest ballistic missile test.

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said last week the United States was working with China on a new sanctions resolution.

Meanwhile, North Korean state airline Air Koryo has abruptly halted its new route between Pyongyang and the Chinese border city of Dandong, local airport and ticketing officials told AFP.

It was not clear when the suspension started or the reason for the decision. North Korea’s state news agency had announced the new service on March 28.

A woman at a local air ticketing company confirmed the suspension, saying that they “informed us to stop selling tickets about one month ago. They didn’t tell us why.”

Air Koryo flights on older routes, between Pyongyang and the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shenyang, were still available online. No one answered the phone at the airline’s Beijing office.

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