BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Republic of Korea (ROK) should grasp opportunities and respond to each other's goodwill to help ease the situation in the region, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Hua Chunying made the remarks at a daily press briefing when asked to comment on ROK's proposal to hold reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, and the DPRK's call for ending hostilities between the two sides.
"China is glad to see that the DPRK and ROK are planning reunions for separated families," said Hua. "They belong to the same ethnic group, and blood is thicker than water. From the perspective of humanitarianism, China supports the exchanges and cooperation conducted by both sides."
As a neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, China has always supported the DPRK and ROK to improve bilateral ties via dialogue and take concrete measures to promote reconciliation, Hua said.
Both sides have released positive messages to improve ties since the beginning of the year, she said.
"China sincerely hopes the two sides can grasp opportunities, continue to show goodwill, and positively understand and respond to each other's goodwill stance. Hopefully concrete efforts can be made to improve bilateral ties and the situation in the region," Hua said.
Last Friday, the two countries agreed to hold reunions of families separated by the war in the DPRK's resort of Mount Kumgang. The ROK then proposed to hold the reunions for six days from Feb. 17 to Feb. 22. The DPRK has yet to respond.
Seoul and Washington are set to conduct their annual military drills from late February to April, which Pyongyang has denounced as a rehearsal for a northward invasion.