South Korea has stepped up its efforts to enlist Beijing’s support for the adoption of stringent sanctions to punish North Korea’s recent nuclear test during talks.
“Beijing said that as North Korea’s nuclear test violated UNSC resolutions and the 2005 joint declaration (of the six party talks), China would participate in the UNSC resolution,” Yoon Soon-gu, director general of the international policy bureau at Seoul’s Defense Ministry, told reporters following his talks with his Chinese counterpart Guan Youfei.
“During the talks, Beijing also said that it has publicly stated that it is absolutely opposed to North Korea’s development of nuclear arms and its nuclear test, and that it delivered such a message when it called in Pyongyang’s ambassador to Beijing,” he added.
During the talks, the Chinese side said it would join a new U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution, which is in the making. China has so far been seen reluctant over the adoption of excessively harsh sanctions against its traditional ally. It has called on Seoul and other countries to exercise “restraint and caution” in responding to the North’s provocation.
China is viewed as the most crucial player for anti-Pyongyang sanctions, as it wields the greatest influence over the North that is heavily dependent on it for trade and various forms of aid including the supply of oil. The trade volume between China and the North accounts for more than 90 percent of Pyongyang’s overseas trade. The North is also known to secure 100 percent of its oil from China through a pipeline linking its border city of Sinuiju to Dandong in northeastern China.