China backs UN sanctions on North

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China backs UN sanctions on North

The United Nations Security Council ordered tough new sanctions on North Korea as punishment for its latest nuclear test, approving a resolution the United States negotiated with China, the North’s longtime ally.

The series of fresh sanctions were approved unanimously by the UN Security Council on Thursday in New York. The measures were drafted by China and the United States to hold Pyongyang accountable for its latest series of ballistic missile and nuclear tests in repeated violation of its previous commitments to the international community.

Resolution 2094 is in response to Pyongyang’s nuclear test on Feb. 12. It is also the fourth resolution against the North since its first nuclear test in 2006. The resolution demanded that the North not proceed with any further nuclear tests, give up any nuclear program and return to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The new sanctions include strengthened inspections of suspicious cargo heading to and from the North. Bans on luxurious goods to the North’s ruling elite such as jewelry, yachts and racing cars were also included. Tougher financial sanctions were also imposed to prevent the North from continuing its nuclear and missile programs.

Countries surrounding the peninsula expressed their support for the tougher sanctions on the North.

South Korea yesterday welcomed the adaptation of the new sanctions. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman Cho Tai-young said the government welcomes and supports the resolution, which contains stronger sanctions on the North. Cho said the government expects the North to comply with the measures and make the right choice of giving up nuclear and missile programs and stopping any provocations to become a responsible member of the international community.

China is believed to hold the key to the success of the new sanctions as it is the single largest economic partner of the North. A longtime ally of Pyongyang, Beijing has been reluctant to go after Pyongyang sternly for its provocative actions, but the mood appeared to be different this time.

“Adoption of the resolution itself is not enough,” China’s UN Ambassador Li Baodong was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “We want to see full implementation of the resolution.” Li also urged calm and a resumption of the stalled six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. The Chinese government also called the new sanctions “overall balanced.” “China supports the UN Security Council’s necessary and moderate response to the nuclear test of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement yesterday, referring to the North by its formal name.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a statement and welcomed the resolution. “I strongly demand that the North never carry out a provocation,” he said. Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement yesterday and urged North Korea to give up additional development of nuclear and missile programs.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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