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Beijing said on Friday that it welcomed all efforts to pull the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue back to the negotiation table after Russia said Pyongyang wanted direct talks with Washington.
"The Democratic People"s Republic of Korea and the United States, as parties directly involved, should make contact and solve related issues through dialogue and negotiations," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, noting that the nuclear issue is a security issue, and the core is the conflict between the two sides.
Geng also said Beijing has been constantly working toward this end by having communications with both Pyongyang and Washington.
"We welcome the efforts from all parties, including Russia, to pull the peninsula nuclear issue back to the track of peaceful resolution through dialogue and negotiations as soon as possible," he told a daily news conference.
Tension on the peninsula has escalated after Seoul and Washington started their largest-ever air force exercise on Monday, following Pyongyang"s latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile last week.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he had passed on Pyongyang"s desire for direct talks to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when the two met on the sidelines of a conference in Vienna on Thursday, according to Reuters.
He also told Tillerson that US military exercises and aggressive rhetoric were causing an unacceptable escalation in tension.
However, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Thursday that direct talks with the DPRK were "not on the table until they are willing to denuclearize".
Amid the tensions, Jeffrey Feltman, the United Nations undersecretary-general for political affairs, ended a rare visit to Pyongyang on Friday, during which he met with DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Vice-Foreign Minister Pak Myong-kuk, according to the DPRK"s Korean Central News Agency.