BEIJING, Feb. 17 (MNA) – North Korea must pay a “necessary price” under a new UN resolution against the North’s fourth nuclear test and launch of a long-range rocket this year, China’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters after talks with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China supports a new UN resolution that makes North Korea “pay the necessary price.”
Wang described North Korea’s nuclear test and rocket launch as “serious” violations of the existing UN resolutions against Pyongyang.
However, Wang said efforts to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War and denuclearization of North Korea should be pursued at the same time, echoing the demand by North Korea. The Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.
“North Korea’s nuclear test and satellite launch constituted a serious move against Security Council resolutions,” Wang said.
“So, North Korea needs to pay the necessary price, and the purpose of ongoing discussions at the Security Council of adopting a new resolution is to stop North Korea from going any further down the path of developing nuclear weapons,” Wang said.
Wang said Iran’s nuclear issue was resolved because there were decade-long negotiations between Iran and world powers.
However, North Korea’s nuclear issue is at a standstill because the six-party talks have “broken down for eight years,” Wang said.
UN Security Council members remain divided over how to punish North Korea for its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and Feb. 7 rocket launch, with China, one of five veto-wielding council members, reluctant to put crippling sanctions on North Korea.
Winning China’s cooperation is the key to enforcing stronger sanctions against North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs because China is the North’s economic lifeline.
But Beijing has been reluctant to put crippling sanctions on Pyongyang because a sudden collapse of the regime could spark a refugee crisis at its border and lead to a pro-US, democratic Korea on its doorstep, analysts say.