China urges restraint as N. Korea fires short-range missiles

March 2, 2015
China's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying (YouTube Screen Capture)

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying (YouTube Screen Capture)

BEIJING (Yonhap) — China called for calm and restraint on Monday after North Korea fired two short-range missiles off the East Sea in apparent anger against annual military drills between South Korea and the United States.

North Korea has stepped up its fiery rhetoric against the annual drills, which began earlier in the day on the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and are said to be defensive in nature by the South and the U.S. But, the drills have long been denounced by the North as preparations for war against the isolated regime.

Asked about the North’s latest missile test-firing, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying replied, “Safeguarding peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region serves the interests of all sides.”

“We believe that, in view of current circumstances, all sides should do more to relieve tension and safeguard regional peace and stability,” Hua said.

“Therefore, we hope that all sides can exercise restraint and play a positive and constructive role,” Hua said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the country’s military to be ready for war, the North’s state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported Saturday.