China’s state media blasts US handling of North Korea crisis
Washington is acting irresponsibly and only negotiations will end the nuclear weapons stand-off, People’s Daily commentary says
China has shown its deepening frustration over the North Korean missile test crisis, with a commentary in the state-run People’s Daily blaming the United States for hindering efforts to resolve the issue.
The commentary published in the Communist Party newspaper’s overseas edition called on the US not to link the Sino-US trade relationship with attempts to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme and to stop demanding China take responsibility to rein in North Korea.
The commentary said the United States’ actions were “irresponsible” and would only harm regional stability.
The article came ahead of the start of debates at a UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, with the North Korea crisis expected to be one of the topics dominating the agenda.
Washington might also use the event to promote further tough action against the hermit state, according to analysts.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on all nations to take fresh measures against North Korea after the increasingly belligerent state launched another missile over Japan last Friday, the second weapons test in three weeks.
The People’s Daily commentary said Tillerson had unfairly targeted China as it was the biggest oil provider to North Korea and Russia as it hired the largest number of North Korea labourers.
But any sanctions should avoid consequences that made the general public suffer in North Korea and an outside country should not disrupt normal and legal trade or bring on a humanitarian crisis, the commentary said.
“Sanctions should be aimed at containing North Korea from advancing its nuclear missile programme, but not as a tool for toppling the regime,” it said.
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.”
The UN Security Council unanimously approved fresh sanctions against North Korea after Pyongyang tested what it claimed to be a hydrogen bomb on September 3.
China and Russia backed the resolution drafted by the US, which included a ban on textile exports and restricting oil product shipments.
However, an oil pipeline between China and North Korea that provides almost 90 per cent of crude oil to Pyongyang was excluded from the sanctions.