BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The recent efforts made by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) should be encouraged, welcomed and supported by the international community, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday.
Lu Kang told a daily news briefing that the DPRK had made a series of efforts, including announcing a halt of nuclear tests and the dismantling of its northern nuclear test ground.
The efforts reflect the DPRK's willingness to promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and build mutual trust with relevant parties, as well as its sincerity to promote a political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue, he said.
"The DPRK's efforts should be hailed and deserve the encouragement, welcome and support of the international community," Lu said, calling on parties to meet each other halfway.
Media reported U.S. Republican senator Rand Paul said the DPRK had made concessions, as the country recently released three U.S. detainees and announced it would stop nuclear tests, but the DPRK had not "seen a little bit on the other side" from the United States, adding that he believed the talks between the two countries would still occur.
In response, Lu said he hoped this attitude of mutual understanding and empathy would receive attention.
With the joint efforts of all parties, an important step in the right direction has been made in settling the Korean Peninsula issue, Lu said.
He said the current momentum for dialogue and easing of tension on the Korean Peninsula, which has not come easily, should be cherished by all.
China has always advocated that all relevant parties should promote a political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue through dialogue and consultation, and fully consider the concerns of all, including the DPRK's legitimate security concerns, he said.
"We hope the United States and the DPRK will seize the current opportunities, continue to build mutual trust, and make joint efforts to realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and lasting peace and stability in the region," Lu said.