US and China pressure North Korea after sanctions vote
Manila, Philippines - The United States and China piled pressure on North Korea on Sunday to abandon its nuclear missile programme after the UN Security Council approved tough sanctions which could cost Pyongyang US$1bn a year.
One day after Council members voted unanimously for a partial ban on exports aimed at slashing Pyongyang’s foreign revenue by a third, top diplomats from the key powers in the dispute met in Manila.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he was encouraged by the vote, but officials warned that Washington would closely watch China to ensure sanctions are enforced.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met his North Korean counterpart Ri Hong-Yo before a major regional security forum being hosted by the ten nation ASEAN. He urged the North to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
“It will help the DPRK to make the right and smart decision,” Wang told reporters, speaking through a translator, after talks with Ri - referring to the sanctions and to Ri’s presence in Manila.
Saturday’s UN resolution banned exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood by the cashstarved state. If fully implemented it would strip North Korea of a third of its export earnings. The resolution also prevents North Korea from increasing the number of workers it sends abroad.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi