China urges neighbour to stop missile tests
06 Aug 2017, 20:45 ( 6 Months ago)
China's foreign minister has told his North Korean counterpart that Pyongyang should stop carrying out nuclear and missile tests, hours after fresh sanctions were agreed by the United Nations Security Council. Wang Yi said he urged Ri Yong-ho to abide by UN resolutions in a meeting on Sunday in the Philippines. He did not say how Mr Ri replied. Saturday’s resolution banning North Korean exports and limiting investments in the country was passed unanimously.Mr Wang said sanctions were needed, but "are not the final goal", and he urged dialogue. He said he had 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. 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 theirtargets.The tests were condemned by South Korea, Japan and the US, and prompted the drafting of the new UN sanctions. hina, 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. North Korea's nuclear programme is expected to be a major issue but there are no plans for a bilateral meeting between Mr Tillerson and the North Korean representative. Speaking earlier as he sat down for talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Mr Tillerson said the sanctions were a "good outcome".The US wants a show of unity at this forum in condemning North Korea - uniquely, Mr Tillerson will find himself in the same room as his North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong-ho, although the two are very unlikely to speak to one another.
Mr Tillerson will also be holding bilateral meetings with his Russian and Chinese counterparts. Just by being at this diplomatic talkfest Rex Tillerson will offer a striking change of tone. In the first seven months of the Trump administration his voice has been subdued on Asia, whereas the president's comments have been seen by many Asian officials as erratic and at times inflammatory.However there are important differences over how best to deal with North Korea. The US believes pressure must be ramped up on Pyongyang, to get it to reverse, not just freeze, its nuclear and missile programmes.