China to uphold North Korea sanctions

  • 09/08/2017

China will pay the biggest price from the new UN sanctions against North Korea because of its close economic relationship with the country, but will always enforce the resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday over its continued missile tests that could slash the reclusive country's $3 billion annual export revenue by a third.

Speaking at a regional security forum in Manila this week, Mr Wang said the new resolution showed China and the international community's opposition to North Korea's continued missile tests, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Owing to China's traditional economic ties with North Korea, it will mainly be China paying the price for implementing the resolution," the statement cited Mr Wang as saying.

"But in order to protect the international non-proliferation system and regional peace and stability, China will, as before, fully and strictly properly implement the entire contents of the relevant resolution."

China, North Korea's lone major ally, has repeatedly said it is committed to enforcing increasingly tough UN resolutions on North Korea, though it has also said what it terms "normal" trade and ordinary North Koreans should not be affected.

"What this is going to do is send a very strong and united message," US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told NBC on Wednesday, adding that Washington would be watching to see the sanctions are enforced.

US President Donald Trump praised other nations for addressing North Korea's missile programme.

"After many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea. We must be tough & decisive!" Mr Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

Ms Haley said Mr Trump was keeping "all options on the table" for dealing with North Korea and speaking of its leader, Kim Jong Un, said "he has to decide if he strikes the United States, is that something he can win?"

North Korea said the sanctions infringed its sovereignty and it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any US military action.

The successful testing of two ICBMs last month suggested the reclusive North was making technical progress, Japan's annual Defence White Paper warned.

"Since last year, when it forcibly implemented two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile launches, the security threats have entered a new stage," the Japanese Defence Ministry said in the 563-page document released on Tuesday.

"It is conceivable that North Korea's nuclear weapons programme has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturisation of nuclear weapons and has acquired nuclear warheads."

Reuters

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