The launch of ballistic missiles released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Photo: Reuters
A salvo of North Korean missiles is fired in this undated photo released by the Korean Central News Agency. Photo: KCNA

The Chinese government has urged all parties in the Korean Peninsula to stay calm and return to dialogue amid a tense atmosphere in the region, Premier Li Keqiang said in Beijing on Wednesday.

“A tense atmosphere has escalated recently in the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asia region. Such an atmosphere is likely to lead to conflicts, which will damage all parties in the region,” Li said in a media briefing after the closing ceremony of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress.

“We hope that all parties can calm down and return to dialogue, in a bid to resolve the matter. No one wants to see quarrels happening all day in front of their home.”

He added that China had a clear stance on matters involving North Korea and supported denuclearization in the region. China had fully implemented the United Nations’ resolutions and complied with economic sanctions on Pyongyang.

On March 6, North Korea fired four intermediate-range missiles, which traveled almost 1,000km towards the Sea of Japan, or East Sea. Three missiles landed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. North Korea also fired a fifth missile, but it failed to launch.

The United States later continued its schedule to ship the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, an anti-missile system, to South Korea.