United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday praised China's role as key in resolving the Korean Peninsula issue.
"I think China has an absolutely key role in this," which is highlighted by the recent visit to Beijing by Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), he told Chinese reporters ahead of his trip to China to attend the annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) conference.
Guterres also said he sent an envoy to Pyongyang with a very clear message: to improve the relations between the two Koreas, especially to avoid any escalation of tensions that could be a disaster on the peninsula.
There is a lot of distrust between the United States and the DPRK, so the presence of China can be an absolutely decisive factor for a peaceful denuclearization of the peninsula, he said.
It is also important for the DPRK to have an open dialogue with the United States, as China has always recommended so that a denuclearization could occur in a peaceful environment and to the benefit of all, Guterres said.
It is the first time the UN chief would attend the BFA conference. The 2018 BFA conference will be held in Boao, a coastal town in south China's island province of Hainan, from April 8-11. Its theme is "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."