China urges North Korea to stop missile tests
August 6th, 2017 at 3:50 pm
China urges North Korea to stop missile tests

Dhaka – Amid growing global tension over North Korea’s repeated missile tests, Beijing has asked Pyongyang to stop carrying out nuclear and missile tests.

The request came Saturday hours after fresh sanctions against North Korea were agreed by the United Nations Security Council.

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi told his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho to abide by UN resolutions in a meeting on Sunday in the Philippines.

He did not say how Ri had replied, according to a BBC report.

Saturday’s resolution banning North Korean exports and limiting investments in the country was passed unanimously.

Wang said sanctions were needed, but “are not the final goal”, and he urged dialogue. He said he told North Korea to remain calm, and not provoke the international community with more tests.

The Chinese envoy also urged the US and South Korea not to increase tensions, saying that the situation was at a “critical point”, but also a juncture at which talks could be resumed.

US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley earlier said North Korea was facing “the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation”.

Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, claiming it now had the ability to hit the US.

However, experts doubt the missiles can hit their targets.

The tests were condemned by South Korea, Japan and the US, and prompted the drafting of the new UN sanctions.

China, North Korea’s only international ally and a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, voted in favour of the resolution after negotiations with the US that Ms Haley said were “tough”.

Beijing has often protected Pyongyang from harmful resolutions in the past.

Russia, which the US has also criticised for its economic links with North Korea, also voted for the sanctions.

Top diplomats including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are gathered for a regional forum under the aegis of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in the Philippines’ capital, Manila.

North Korea’s nuclear programme is expected to be a major issue but there are no plans for a bilateral meeting between Tillerson and the North Korean representative.

Speaking earlier as he sat down for talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Tillerson said the sanctions were a “good outcome”, according to the BBC.

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