05/28/2010, 00.00
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China condemns “any act against peace” on the Korean Peninsula, Wen Jiabao says

In Seoul, the Chinese prime minister says China “will not protect” those who undermine the stability of the Korean Peninsula. He was referring to North Korea, which is increasingly isolated after the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Beijing “opposes and condemns any kind of act against peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula”. What is more, China "will not protect" whoever is responsible of such deeds, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said in Seoul where he met South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister Fukyo Hatoyama.

China has ostensibly abandoned its North Korean ally to its destiny. When mentioning acts against peace, Wen was referring to the sinking of the ROKN corvette Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors. According to an independent international investigation, a torpedo launched by the North sank the ship.

The United States, Japan and South Korea have accepted the inquiry’s findings. Until now, Beijing had called for calm, stressing the need for diplomacy with Pyongyang.

The next step is for South korea to go to the UN Security Council to demand tough sanctions against the North. This is expected to be done next Monday.

This is the second time Wen visits South Korea. The first time, the he travelled to Seoul in 2008, after the two countries signed a co-operation agreement.

During the three-day visit, Wen will take part in the third three-way summit with the leaders of South Korea and Japan, on Jeju Island.

South Korea is the first stop in Wen’s official tour of Asia. He is also set to travel to Japan, Mongolia and Myanmar.

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun said at a news briefing ahead of Wen's visit that China hoped to speed up the establishment of the free trade area (FTA) with South Korea and increase cooperation in education, science, culture and tourism.

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