Beijing supports inter-Korean summits and with the US. We will not talk about human rights
China hopes that Washington will avoid "destructive factors" but pursues the path of dialogue. Pyongyang criticizes Seoul's support for UN sanctions on the North for human rights violations. South Korean Foreign Minister: only the agreed topics will be discussed.
Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - China is giving its full support to the summits that in the coming weeks will see the leaders of the two Koreas and the US at the negotiating table, according to the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi. Yi was speaking after meeting with his counterpart in North Korea, Ri Yong-ho, on a visit to Beijing.
Communication between China and its ally North Korea was reinforced by Kim Jong-un's surprise visit to the Chinese capital at the end of March. Yesterday, Wang told reporters Beijing's hope is that the United States will avoid "destructive factors" by pursuing the goal of bringing Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump to dialogue. "We call on all parties to maintain their resolve, eliminate interference and proceed in the right direction of dialogue and negotiations", commented the number one Chinese diplomat.
There are many "sensitive" topics that could alter the delicate balance and dialogue created in the context of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. First of all, the state of human rights in North Korea, which yesterday was the subject of Pyongyang’s harsh criticism of Seoul, following its support for the latest UN sanctions on the North, also justified by violations of rights human beings perpetrated by it.
North Korea’s reaction - warning that such actions "jeopardize" the future dialogues - prompted South Korean Foreign Minister today to clarify that human rights are not part of the inter-Korean summit discussion agenda. Kang Kying-wha reiterated the "firm position" of Seoul against "the disastrous human rights situation" in the North, stating however that it will not be the subject of discussion, which will instead focus on launching dialogue between the two Koreas "on the topics agreed by both parts".
It is estimated that in North Korea there are up to 120 thousand political prisoners held in a widespread gulag system. In 2014, a UN commission published a report stating that Pyongyang is responsible for violations of human rights "unparalleled in the contemporary world".