BEIJING, Sept. 12 (UPI) — Heavier sanctions against North Korea are not the solution to reducing tensions after Pyongyang’s fifth nuclear test, China said Monday.
Beijing foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters sanctions against North Korea are a unilateral measure that could drive an already difficult situation to a dead end, South Korean news service Newsis reported.
Hua also said the core of the North Korea nuclear issue is United States policy. China has dedicated a great deal of effort toward maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, the spokeswoman said.
Hua’s comments come as the United Nations Security Council is planning to pass additional embargoes against Pyongyang after what appears to be its fifth nuclear test on Friday.
China and Russia, traditional North Korea allies, are permanent members of the Security Council.
While both countries condemned the test, neither Beijing nor Moscow approve of the call for heightened military deterrence in South Korea.
The Russian foreign ministry stated on Monday Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi agreed during a phone conversation that all countries should refrain from the further escalation of tensions, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
“While the two ministers condemned North Korean actions, all countries concerned should abstain from measures that could lead to further heightened tensions, and instead solve the Korean peninsula nuclear issue through diplomacy,” the Russian statement read.
China continues to be opposed to the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea and the July decision to place THAAD on the peninsula has provided Beijing less incentive to work with Washington on a North Korea strategy, according to analysts who spoke to The New York Times.
As new actions are expected at the U.N., North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho left Pyongyang to attend the United Nations General Assembly, Yonhap reported Monday.
Ri was seen at the main airport in Beijing quickly stepping into a vehicle that belonged to the North Korean Embassy, according to the report.
But Ri is not expected to meet with senor Chinese officials, sources tell Yonhap.