Chinese Premier Wen expresses concern over North Korea missile

SHENZHEN, China, June 28, 2006 (AFP) – Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday he was "very concerned" that North Korea could test fire a missile and urged all sides involved to ensure tensions did not rise further.

"We are very concerned about the issue," Wen told reporters after meeting with Australian Prime Minister John Howard here.

"We are following closely the information showing that there might be a possible launch of a missile by DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).

"We hope the various parties will proceed from the greater interest and stability on the (Korean) peninsula and refrain from taking measures that might worsen the situation."

Wen and Howard, who is in China for a three-day trip that is primarily focused on trade, discussed during talks on Wednesday the nuclear issues surrounding both North Korea and Iran.

"Neither issue is easy to resolve," Howard told journalists.

"All participants must refrain from any provocative behavior which will deepen the levels of mistrust."

Wen said that stalled negotiations hosted by China and including the two Koreas, the United States, Japan and Russia on North Korea’s nuclear issue remained the best way to resolve the situation over Pyongyang.