China on Tuesday urged North Korea to follow through on its offer to allow U.N. nuclear monitors into the country as a way to alleviate international tensions during a standoff with South Korea.
China, North Korea’s only major ally, has continually urged dialogue to resolve the crisis and has been reluctant to blame its neighbor for the shelling of a South Korean island last month, in which two Marines and two civilians were killed.
South Korea held further live-fire drills on the island on Monday, raising fears of all-out war, but the North did not retaliate. Instead, it offered to accept nuclear inspectors it has kicked out of the country before.
“North Korea has the right to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes, but also at the same time must allow IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors in,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in Beijing.
“All parties should realize that artillery fire and military force cannot solve the issues on the peninsula, and dialogue and cooperation are the only correct approaches.”