Xi Backs Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula

China's president-in-waiting Xi Jinping on Wednesday said Beijing remains committed to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Xi told envoys of president-elect Park Geun-hye that denuclearization and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destructions are "essential conditions" to peace and stability on the peninsula, according to delegation head Kim Moo-sung.

Xi's remarks came as the UN Security Council unanimously condemned the North's rocket launch in December and expanded existing sanctions, prompting the North to announce it would hold no more talks on dismantling its nuclear weapons program.

Xi "probably wanted to send North Korea a warning amid signs of another provocation by the North," said a diplomatic source in Beijing.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement urging North Korea to refrain from doing anything that could worsen the situation, though it added the usual formula calling on other countries to remain calm.

The South Korean delegation invited Xi to Seoul on Park's behalf.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 24, 2013 10:19 KST