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Trump-Kim summit

After Trump-Kim summit, China says sanctions against North Korea could be eased

Beijing believes UN Security Council actions ‘should support current diplomatic efforts towards denuclearisation’, foreign ministry spokesman says

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2018, 4:19pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 1:02am

Beijing has suggested international sanctions against Pyongyang could be eased, just hours after a historic summit meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended in a joint statement on “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula.

The remarks were made by foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a briefing in Beijing after Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised the summit – the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president – as “creating a new history”.

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“The relevant resolutions passed by the UN Security Council stipulate that … adjustment to the sanctions has to be made in accordance with the situation on how North Korea has implemented the agreement – including suspending or removing relevant sanction measures,” Geng said.

China had maintained UN sanctions against its reclusive neighbour “in a serious and strict manner”, he said.

“The Chinese side believes that … the actions taken by the UN Security Council should support the current diplomatic dialogues and efforts in progressing towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” Geng added.

Analysts generally agree that a series of stringent economic and financial sanctions against North Korea, led by the US with China’s support, played a big role in Kim’s sudden embrace of diplomacy over the past six months after his repeated nuclear provocations.

Geng said that Beijing would continue to fulfil its international obligations and play a constructive role on the Korean peninsula.

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Wang said in a statement earlier that China welcomed and supported the summit between the US and North Korean leaders and hoped the two countries could reach a basic consensus on achieving denuclearisation.

The fact that Trump and Kim “can sit together and have equal talks has important and positive meaning, and is creating a new history”, he said in the statement.

“At the same time, there needs to be a peace mechanism for the peninsula, to resolve North Korea’s reasonable security concerns,” he added.