Park Thanks China for Help Defusing Cross-Border Tensions

      September 03, 2015 10:53

      President Park Geun-hye thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday for the constructive role Beijing played in defusing tensions with North Korea last month.

      Park's comments came during talks with Xi in Beijing.

      One diplomatic source said Park was grateful for Beijing's stance during the latest standoff with North Korea that went beyond its traditional approach of remaining neutral in Korean crises.

      China is North Korea's sole ally and has typically refrained from criticizing the North and often sided with the isolated regime. But on Aug. 21, at the height of the standoff, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged "calm and restraint," calling on "the relevant party" to refrain any provocations.

      It was a pointed departure from the tradition of urging calm and restraint from both sides.

      China's official Global Times on Sept. 24 voiced suspicion that there were attempts to prevent Park from traveling to Beijing for World War II commemorations and warned Beijing would deal sternly with them.

      Diplomatic sources said China indirectly pressured North Korea to stand down.

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