North Korea to ASEAN: Be impartial, practical on denuclearization issue


China will pay the biggest price from the new United Nations sanctions against North Korea because of its close economic relationship with the country, but will always enforce the resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

President Donald Trump is touting new sanctions on North Korea just approved by the U.N. Security Council.

Still, Thornton says China's vote for the sanctions is a good step that shows Beijing understands the gravity of the problem.

The communist state came to Manila for the ASEAN Regional Forum amid a torrent of worldwide criticism over recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles which prompted the UN Security Council to adopt a fresh set of crippling sanctions Saturday.

China, which holds enormous financial leverage against North Korea, joined the other members of the council in the 15-0 vote.

He also recalled that in 1957, the USA introduced nuclear weapons to South Korea, "thus opening the way to nuclearizing the Korean Peninsula".

The chairman's statement noted that the ministers urged North Korea to "immediately comply fully with its obligations" under relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.

At a meeting in Washington in May, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pressed his ASEAN counterparts to fully implement and adhere to United Nations sanctions on North Korea.

For the US, it was a long-awaited sign of progress for Trump's strategy of trying to enlist Beijing's help to squeeze North Korea diplomatically and economically.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, meeting with North Korea's top diplomat during the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Manila on August 5, urged Pyongyang to "maintain calm" in the aftermath of the United Nations vote.

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"Do not violate the U.N.'s decision or provoke global society's goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests", Wang said, in an unusually direct admonition.

Tillerson said Washington would not "specify a specific number of days or weeks" before deciding that North Korea had indeed stopped its tests.

But Tillerson appeared more conciliatory on Monday.

South Korea and Japan need to communicate more often in the face of missile and nuclear program of Pyongyang, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said.

Tillerson, in his most specific outline to date of what preconditions the USA had for talks with Pyongyang, said stopping the launches would be the "first and strongest signal".

The US fears North Korea may one day use its missiles to deliver a nuclear payload to its west coast.

"We will make the USA pay by a thousand-fold for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country", the statement said.

Over the last few years, North Korea has tested several ballistic missiles with varying degrees of success. It was a message emphasizing not only the pressure to denuclearize that has been focus for the Moon administration's North Korea policy, but also its efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and achieve peace on the peninsula. Pyongyang views the military exercises as rehearsals for an invasion.

The foreign ministers on Sunday adopted a negotiating framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea and also issued a communique that pressed for non-militarization and expressed concerns about China's island-building. Susan Thornton, the top US diplomat for Asia, said Beijing had historically cooperated with sanctions after flagrant North Korean violations but then slipped back over time.

"We have no reason to believe China will enforce these new sanctions", Kazianis told USA TODAY. "Not this kind of episodic back and forth that we've seen".