BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- China was concerned about the situation on the Korean Peninsula after the deadly exchange of fire between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK), and urged for calm and restraint, Chinese foreign ministry said Wednesday.
China also urged the two countries engage in talks in order to avoid similar incidents, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement.
"China pays close attention to the incident. We regret the casualties and property losses, and are concerned about the situation," Hong said.
"We strongly urge the both sides retain calm and restraint, and engage in talks as quickly as possible in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again," Hong said.
China opposed any activity that harms the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, he said.
China always holds that parties involved should be committed to safeguarding peace and stability of the Peninsula, solve disputes through talks and consultation in a peaceful way, Hong said, adding China was ready to make joint efforts with relevant parties.
During the exchange of fires on Tuesday, the DPRK shelled the ROK's Yeongpyeong Island in what Seoul called an "unprovoked attack," killing two marines and two civilians. It also fired artillery shells into waters near the disputed western sea border.
Pyongyang claims Seoul's shells fell in its side of the maritime border before it opened fire.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK said in a statement Wednesday that DPRK military measures taken in the exchange of artillery fire with the ROK were in self-defense.