‘China must help with sanctions’
CHINA must help the international community close loopholes in sanctions on North Korea after an “unprecedented” series of provocations by Pyongyang this year, a top US envoy said yesterday
With two nuclear tests and more than 20 missile launches in 2016, the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un has hit a new low, said Sung Kim, the US State Department’s special representative for North Korea policy.
“North Korea once again has demonstrated blatant and reckless disregard for its commitments and international obligations,” Mr Kim said during a two-day visit to Seoul.
“This is quite unprecedented, even by their standards,” he said after meeting with his South Korean counterpart Kim Hong-Kyun.
Mr Kim said that China – Pyongyang’s sole ally and largest benefactor – had a key role to play in showing North Korea the “serious consequences for its unlawful and dangerous actions”.
“We look forward to working with Beijing to ... try to close any loopholes in the latest sanctions,” Kim said.
“Sanctions will not produce immediate, instant success, and it would require sustained and concerted effort to really have the kind of effect that we desire.”
Beijing has said it opposes the testing, but analysts believe it pulls its punches because it is desperate to avoid anything that would imperil the status quo and alter the balance of power in the Korean peninsula in favour of the US.
Following Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test in January, the UN Security Council adopted the toughest sanctions to date, targeting the North’s trade in minerals and tightening banking restrictions.
But since then, Pyongyang has carried out a series of rocket launches, and on September 9 detonated its biggest-ever nuclear bomb. Another test is expected soon. –
The US State Department’s special representative for North Korea policy Sung Kim (left) shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart Kim Hong-kyun during a meeting in Seoul yesterday to discuss North Korea’s fifth nuclear test.