China asks UN to ease North Korea sanctions
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.