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China refuses to back sanctions on N. Korea

Sep 15, 2016, 2:21 AM EDT
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi
(Source: Cancillería del Ecuador/flickr)

Following North Korea’s fifth nuclear test on September 9, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing opposes “unhelpful” unilateral sanctions on Pyongyang. Yi’s remarks came during a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida on Wednesday. China, which is North Korea’s most important diplomatic backer and biggest trading partner, says the change of situation in the Korean peninsula can be addressed by talks and not through the authoritative channel of the Security Council.

Kishida, who described Pyongyang’s aggressive nuclear campaign as a grave threat to Japanese security, called on China to act as a responsible permanent member of the Security Council, reports Reuters. Although, China has been upset with North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile tests it has not taken a clear position on whether it backs tough sanctions against Pyongyang.

North Korea’s unrestricted nuclear ambitions have unsettled global powers, prompting them to prepare a raft of unilateral sanctions, writes Sputnik News. On Wednesday, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin informed that the U.N.S.C. is drafting a strong sanctions resolution against Pyongyang.