China to North Korea: Cool It With Missile Launch

China calls for calm as South Korea, US condemn planned launch
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 17, 2012 5:31 AM CDT
Ri Yong Ho, a Vice Minister of North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, walks out from the airport VIP hall in Beijing, China, Saturday.   (Vincent Thian)

(Newser) – China is apparently wagging its finger at North Korea over its plan to launch a long-range rocket, as a North Korean nuclear envoy arrived in Beijing today for talks. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun met with North Korea's ambassador to China, Ji Jae Ryong, to voice Beijing's concern over the launch, the Xinhua News Agency reported. It said Zhang told the ambassador that China hopes all parties will remain calm, exercise restraint, and avoid escalating tensions in the region.

North Korea said yesterday it plans to blast a satellite into space next month to mark the centenary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il Sung. The US says the rocket launch would use the same technology as long-range missiles and would be a "deal-breaker" for a new agreement in which the US pledged to exchange food aid for nuclear concessions.

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