China indirectly rebukes Bush for labeling NKorea's Kim a 'tyrant'
AFP | May 10, 2005
In an indirect rebuke of Washington, China Tuesday urged nations involved in efforts to keep North Korea from going nuclear not to do or say anything that would make it harder to restart talks.
Foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao made the remark when asked about recent comments by US President George W. Bush that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il was a "tyrant" who starved his people.
"We think that any party in the six-party talks should take measures in word and action that are favorable to the resumption of the six-party talks," Liu told a regular briefing.
"They should not say or do anything that is not in favor of continuing the six-party talks," he said.
Beijing has hosted three rounds of negotiations also involving the two Koreas, the United States, Japan and Russia aimed at solving the standoff over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
A fourth round, originally scheduled for September last year, has so far not taken place due Pyongyang's reluctance to return to the negotiating table.
Recent reports have suggested that North Korea was on the brink of testing a nuclear device, but Liu declined comment on whether China had evidence to either confirm or deny this.
Late last month, Bush said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was "a dangerous person" and a "tyrant" who starves his people.
North Korea immediately fired back at Bush by calling him a "hooligan" and a "philistine" whom it could not deal with. In another outburst Tuesday, it slammed Bush as "the world's worst fascist dictator, a super-class war maniac and another Hitler".
Little progress has been recorded in efforts to end the nuclear standoff since it erupted in October 2002. Pyongyang declared in February that it was already nuclear-armed.