March 22, 2018

China Willing to Pay the Price of North Korea Sanctions

13 August 2017, 09:06 | Opal Carroll

Chinese, N. Korean foreign ministers hold meeting at ASEAN Forum in Manila – report

Sanctions, talks important for N. Korean nuclear issue: China

The new Security Council resolution, UNSCR 2371, tightens existing sanctions by imposing a full ban North Korea's export of coal, iron, seafood and other items to other countries; expands the list of individuals and entities subject to an asset freeze; and prohibits countries from increasing the number of North Korean laborers they employ - laborers whose earnings, the USA says, boost revenues for the regime's illicit activities.

In return for a missile moratorium, Beijing and Moscow say the USA should undertake to end "large-scale" military exercises with South Korea. But there were no signs the US would acquiesce to China's call for a quick return to negotiations.

China, as a permanent member of the UNSC, upheld an impartial and objective position and played a responsible and constructive role in the process of the adoption of the resolution, he said.

At a meeting in Washington in May, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pressed his ASEAN counterparts to fully implement and adhere to United Nations sanctions on North Korea.

In an interview with MSNBC's Hugh Hewitt that aired Saturday, McMaster said Trump has been "deeply briefed" on the strategy on North Korea.

"Do not violate the UN's decision or provoke worldwide society's goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests", Wang warned the North.

Tillerson is offering his most specific outline to date of what preconditions the USA has for talks with Pyongyang.

Also attending the forum, the regime's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said North Korea would "under no circumstances" negotiate away its nuclear weapons capability and ballistic missiles.

"Neither shall we flinch even an inch from the road to bolstering up the nuclear forces chosen by ourselves, unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the USA against the DPRK are fundamentally eliminated".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the best signal North Korea could give that it's prepared for negotiations with the U.S. would be to halt its missile launches. "Though at the same time he'll be the main focus of the press who will hang on his every word to determine North Korea's future plans for its nuclear and missile development as well as Kim Jong-un's policy directions".

The foreign ministers on Sunday adopted a negotiating framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea and also issued a communique that pressed for non-militarization and expressed concerns about China's island-building.

Wang also urged the US and South Korea "to stop increasing tensions" and said that all sides should return to negotiations.

"We have no reason to believe China will enforce these new sanctions", Kazianis told USA TODAY. "So it is all about how we see their attitude towards approaching a dialogue with us".

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Infusing the diplomatic gathering with dramatic intrigue was the presence of Ri, the odd man out at a meeting dominated by concerns about his nation's nuclear proliferation.

Would Tillerson interact with his North Korean counterpart, even informally, if they crossed paths in Manila? As an achievement from the forum, Kang said Seoul had "received very active support and a positive response in its bilateral and multilateral meetings on its efforts to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula as expressed in the Berlin vision".

Tillerson aide R.C. Hammond said that after a productive first day, Tillerson spent several hours preparing for Day 2.

Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for the region, said the US would closely monitor Beijing for compliance with the sanctions.

Yet another American president is enlisting China to put the squeeze on North Korea.

Kang is echoing Tillerson's praise for the sanctions approved Saturday by the U.N. Security Council. Speaking in Chinese, Wang said that Ri "also has the right to share his opinions".

Ri did not respond publicly.

It claimed the sanctions were caused by a "heinous United States plot to isolate and stifle" North Korea and said the country will take "action of justice", but did not elaborate.

The centerpiece of the United Nations sanctions is a ban on North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood products - and a ban on all countries importing those products, estimated to be worth over $1 billion a year in hard currency.

It added that Japan and South Korea "kowtowed blindly" to the U.S. Those tests sharply escalated USA fears that Pyongyang is a key step closer to mastering the technology needed to strike American soil with a nuclear-tipped missile.

China is the North's economic lifeline. And China has again agreed to play along with what the Trump Administration earlier branded as a failed exercise.

But in recent days, the two powers have started to paper over some of those differences. Trump has held off, for now, on the trade actions. The resolution was drafted by the United States, a permanent member of the council.

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