China’s foreign minister said on Sunday new UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea were the right response to a series of missile tests, but dialogue was vital to resolve a complex and sensitive issue, now at a “critical juncture”, Reuters reports.
Wang Yi, in what he described as “very thorough” bilateral talks on Sunday with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho at a regional meeting in Manila, said he had advised him to calmly assess the UN resolutions and not carry out nuclear tests that would only stoke tensions.
The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously imposed the new sanctions on Pyongyang over its two July intercontinental ballistic missile tests, a move that could slash North Korea’s US$3 billion annual export revenue by a third.
Wang said diplomatic and peaceful means were now necessary to avoid tensions and an escalation of the crisis.
“We call on all sides to take a responsible attitude when making judgments and taking actions,” Wang told reporters.
“We cannot do one and neglect the other. Sanctions are needed but sanctions are not the final goal,” Wang said.
North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006. The new measures were a response to five nuclear tests and four long-range missile launches.
The United States, which has long maintained that China has not done enough to rein in North Korea, negotiated with China for a month on the new resolution before putting it to the Security Council.
It bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood and prohibits countries from hiring additional North Korean labourers. It also bars new joint ventures with North Korea.
The standoff is expected to dominate Monday’s ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which gathers 27 foreign ministers, including former participants in the halted six-party talks – Russia, Japan, the United States, China and North and South Korea.
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