China proposes talks on Korean crisis

Vince Coglianese Contributor
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BEIJING — China moved over the weekend to defuse the latest crisis on the Korean Peninsula, publicly calling on Sunday for “emergency consultations” while beginning what amounted to high-level shuttle diplomacy between North and South Korea.

Together, the moves by China were its first concerted diplomatic intervention to calm the emotions that have dangerously escalated since North Korea’s lethal shelling last Tuesday of a South Korean island in the disputed border area between them.

Even so, the Chinese response, which appeared to be studiously neutral, was far from what either South Korea or the United States had publicly sought from China, which provides critical economic aid to the North and is believed to have the most leverage on North Korea’s reclusive government.

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