China has played an essential role in resolving the Korean Peninsula issue, two United Nations (UN) top officials said Thursday amid signs of easing tensions on the peninsula.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said China is a "very important contributor" to the settlement of the peninsula issue.
"I was extremely encouraged by the recent visit of the leader of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) to China. I think China is a very important contributor to a solution in this region," Guterres said to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
"And so, I'm very encouraged by the recent development and very encouraged by the announcement of the inter-Korean summit," Guterres said.
Officials of South Korea and the DPRK on Thursday agreed to hold the planned summit between their leaders on April 27 in the "truce village" of Panmunjom. Earlier, top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un paid an unofficial visit to China from Sunday to Wednesday, meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
"I believe that in this world where, unfortunately so many problems lack solutions, I think there is an opportunity for a peaceful solution to something that few months ago, was the biggest danger we are facing," the secretary-general added.
The UN chief placed high hopes on the upcoming inter-Korean and the U.S.-DPRK summits, noting the resumption of the inter-Korean dialogue and the negotiation between the DPRK and the United States are "needed."
The UN chief said he encouraged both the DPRK and South Korea to move forward when he met the DPRK delegation and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Outgoing UN political chief Jeffrey Feltman also said China has played an "essential role" in resolving the Korean Peninsula issue.
"We've seen the essential role that China is playing," said the top UN political affairs official who steps down at the end of March after nearly six years in the key job that helps form UN policies and oversees UN mediation efforts.
Noting that Asia does not have such "overlapping networks" like the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, he said the six-party talks were "the framework for a long time" in resolving the peninsula issue.
The six-party talks aimed to find a peaceful solution to the security concerns on the peninsula. There were a series of meetings involving six participating states held in Beijing.
China's role is also "extremely important in the passage and enforcement of the sanctions," said Feltman, referring to the sanctions on the DPRK adopted at the UN Security Council.
Feltman said China, as a member of the UN Security Council, was "helpful" in the implementation of the sanctions.
Feltman visited Pyongyang on Dec. 5-9 last year. During the visit, he met with numerous high-ranking diplomats and discussed the UN-DPRK cooperation as well as the situation on the Korean Peninsula.