China reaffirmed on Thursday that a peaceful approach is the right solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, after a former US envoy said the use of military force is "unquestionable" in the end.
To achieve denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and safeguard its peace and stability serves the interests of all parties involved, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing on Thursday.
Geng made the remarks when asked to comment on an article from John Bolton, former US envoy to the United Nations (UN), who wrote that "in the end, this unquestionably implies the use of military force," despite broader conflicts, enormous dangers to civilians and massive refugee flows.
Saying he is not surprised by Bolton's article, Geng added that attention should be given to current US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, saying it is her remarks that reflect the US' stance.
"One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction," Haley told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
She added that North Korea's actions were "quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution" and the US was prepared to defend itself and its allies, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
At the emergency meeting on Wednesday, China's representative said China strongly urges North Korea to strictly abide by resolutions of the UN Security Council and refrain from exacerbating the tension on the Korean Peninsula.
While saying North Korea's latest missile launch was a serious violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and is "unacceptable," Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the UN, also called on all parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid provocative actions and flagrant rhetoric.
China and Russia issued a joint statement on Tuesday, urging dialogue and the China-proposed dual track approach to cool down the current confrontations on the Korean Peninsula.
"China has always insisted on realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and seeking a solution through dialogue and consultations," Liu said, stressing that "military means must not be an option in this regard."