China asks UN to ease North Korea sanc­tions

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Yang Sheng

China pro­posed to the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil on Thurs­day that North Korea be re­warded for steps it has taken to­ward de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, while the US con­tin­ues to de­mand that sanc­tions against the coun­try be en­forced “with­out fail.”

China said it be­lieves that the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil needs to con­sider in­vok­ing, in due course, re­versible pro­vi­sions to en­cour­age North Korea and other rel­e­vant par­ties to make big­ger strides to­ward de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, the Xin­hua News Agency re­ported on Fri­day.

“Re­versible pro­vi­sions” to the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions would help keep pace with de­vel­op­ments on the Korean Penin­sula, which in­cludes North Korea’s pledge to end its nu­clear and mis­sile pro­gram, Chi­nese ex­perts said. The

UN res­o­lu­tions do not have a mech­a­nism that would al­low the eas­ing of sanc­tions step by step.

All par­ties con­cerned should work to­gether to build a peace­ful, sta­ble and com­pletely de­nu­cle­arized Korean Penin­sula fea­tur­ing mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion, Chi­nese State Coun­cilor and For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said at a UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil meet­ing on the Korean Penin­sula is­sue on Thurs­day, the Xin­hua News Agency re­ported on Fri­day.

At the meet­ing, US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo warned “mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil” that they must “set the ex­am­ple” by en­forc­ing sanc­tions on North Korea, Reuters re­ported on Thurs­day.

Un­til Py­ongyang gives up its nu­clear weapons pro­gram, Pom­peo said, “En­force­ment of Se­cu­rity Coun­cil sanc­tions must con­tinue vig­or­ously and with­out fail un­til we re­al­ize the full, fi­nal, ver­i­fied de­nu­cle­ariza­tion.”

Wang also stressed that the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil’s res­o­lu­tions re­lated to the North Korea must con­tinue to be im­ple­mented fully, com­pletely and ac­cu­rately, ac­cord­ing to Xin­hua.

But China firmly be­lieves that ex­ert­ing pres­sure is not an end. The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions de­mand both im­ple­ment­ing sanc­tions and pro­mot­ing a po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment. The two must be ad­vanced in par­al­lel, not in a par­tial or se­lec­tive way, Wang said.

Given the pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments in in­ter-Korean and North Korea-US re­la­tions, China be­lieves that the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil needs to con­sider in­vok­ing, in due course, re­versible pro­vi­sions to en­cour­age the North Korea and other rel­e­vant par­ties to make big­ger strides to­ward de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, said Wang, the Chi­nese for­eign min­is­ter.

China and the US agree on the de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the Korean Penin­sula in gen­eral, and China con­tin­ues to se­ri­ously en­force the res­o­lu­tions with­out vi­o­la­tion, said Wang Jun­sheng, a re­search fel­low on East Asian Stud­ies at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sci­ences in Bei­jing.

“The fact is North Korea has al­ready sus­pended its nu­clear and mis­sile tests, and the ex­ist­ing UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions don’t say what the mem­bers should and could do in this sit­u­a­tion,” Wang Jun­sheng told the Global Times on Fri­day. “When UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil mem­bers use sanc­tions to pre­vent North Korea from launch­ing nu­clear and mis­sile tests, they should also show North Korea a clear way out for de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, and this is why ‘re­versible pro­vi­sions’ sug­gested by China are im­por­tant and rea­son­able,” he said.

China be­lieves that the most ef­fec­tive way is to pro­mote de­nu­cle­ariza­tion in par­al­lel with a peace mech­a­nism on the penin­sula, so that the two can be set­tled to­gether, said Wang Yi.

Pom­peo will travel again to North Korea to meet with se­nior lead­ers in prepa­ra­tion for a sec­ond sum­mit be­tween US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, CNN re­ported on Wed­nes­day.

“The core is­sue for the sec­ond Kim-Trump meet­ing will be the sanc­tions. If the meet­ing is to achieve a break­through, the US will loosen the sanc­tions and North Korea will take more con­crete steps on de­nu­cle­ariza­tion. Oth­er­wise, it is im­pos­si­ble for North Korea to re­al­ize CVID com­plete, ver­i­fi­able, ir­re­versible de­nu­cle­ariza­tion] if the US in­sists on main­tain­ing its cur­rent stance,” Cheng Xiaohe, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Ren­min Univer­sity of China’s School of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, told the Global Times.

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