North Korea nuclear crisis

Beijing says sabre rattling will only worsen North Korean nuclear crisis

China’s foreign ministry urges related countries to focus on enforcement of sanctions ahead of this year’s United Nations General Assembly

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 September, 2017, 10:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 September, 2017, 11:51am

China called on nations involved in the North Korean nuclear crisis to refrain from worsening the situation with military threats, and to focus on enforcement of the latest UN sanctions against Pyongyang.

The comment by the ­foreign ministry came ahead of Monday’s UN General Assembly ­annual gathering, where the US is expected to press China for more greater efforts to rein in North Korea.

“UN Security Council resolution 2375 has just been passed. The pressing issue for all relevant parties is to ensure the full and serious implementation of the resolution, but not creating new complications,” ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Monday, referring to sanctions passed last week that included a ban on textile exports and restrictions on oil imports.

“Some parties from time to time make threatening remarks and actions. These have not [helped with] resolving the nuclear crisis, but are making the situations facing the Korean peninsula more tense.”

The US military staged bombing drills with South Korea Monday, sending a pair of B-1B bombers and four F-35 fighters from Guam and Japan to join four South Korean F-15K fighters.

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China and Russia also began naval drills off the Russian far eastern port of Vladivostok, the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk and to the north of Japan, state-run Xinhua reported Monday.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula are high following Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test on September 3. Last Friday, the North fired a mid-range ballistic missile over Japan.

Ahead of the UN General ­Assembly, Tillerson said the onus of resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis was mainly on China because it was the key supplier of oil to Pyongyang.

“What we’ve said to them is: ‘Look, you have the best information. You have your hand on the valve. Your set the valve where you think it’s going to create the message that you want to send to this regime that they must change the path they’re on.’ So we’re put - leaving it in China’s hands at this point,” he told CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday.

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Beijing had earlier said the core of the nuclear crisis was a conflict between the US and North Korea, and that Washington had was responsible for resolving the problem.

In another sign showing China’s deepening frustration over the crisis, a commentary in the state-run People’s Daily blamed the United States for hindering efforts to resolve the issue.

The commentary, published in the Communist Party newspaper’s overseas edition, called on Washington not to link the Sino-US trade relationship with attempts to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme, and to stop demanding that China take responsibility for controlling North Korea.

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Negotiation should be the key to resolving the crisis, it added. “China would never support a nuclear armed North Korea, but the US, Japan and South Korea should not disrupt the regional situation either.”