Thursday, June 10, 2010

So what's new: China remains North Korea’s closest ally

China has rebuffed U.S. criticism of its handling of North Korea, while North Korea meanwhile has been attempting to soothe China over killing three of its citizens in the recent border shooting incident.

North Korea has told China it will punish those responsible for shooting dead three Chinese nationals near the two countries' border, and vowed to prevent any repeat. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said both countries were now "further investigating and handling the case". North Korean border authorities said an initial investigation showed the incident was an "accident", China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said it had taken a "fair and responsible" attitude in dealing with North Korea's alleged attack on a South Korean warship, batting aside criticism by top U.S. military official Adm. Mike Mullen that Beijing hasn't done enough. Qin was speaking a day after Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was disappointed by the international community's "tepid" response to the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan, singling out China for not doing more.

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