China 'appreciates' ROK's role in Korean Peninsula issue
Updated 21:30, 14-Jan-2019
China said Friday it appreciated the efforts of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in promoting denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and advancing an inter-Korean political settlement process through dialogue and consultation.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks at a daily briefing when responding to a reporter's question on reports that ROK President Moon Jae-in said in his New Year press conference on Thursday that "China has played a positive role in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and improving inter-Korean relations."
The situation on the Korean Peninsula had undergone important and positive changes over the past year thanks to joint efforts from relevant parties, Lu said, adding that China hoped all relevant parties would maintain the momentum of dialogue to constantly promote denuclearization as well as a political settlement.
"China always supports inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation and continuously improving relations; China also always encourages the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States to meet each other half-way and resolve their own concerns through dialogue and consultation," Lu said. "China will as always play a positive role to this end." 
Moon also said on Thursday that he hopes the second summit between DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump will take place soon.
The ROK president has come into the spotlight as the peacemaker between Kim and Trump ever since his inauguration. Moon has met with Kim three times since last April.
Their most recent meeting took place last September, in which an agreement was signed between the two sides. The agreement outlined a consensus on certain steps towards ending military tensions and achieving complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, meaning a de facto end to the Korean War. 
Kim also announced after the third meeting that he will visit Seoul by the end of the year, at Moon's invitation.
(With inputs from Xinhua News Agency)