China steps up against North Korea

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Amidst criticism they aren’t doing enough to combat the North Korea problem, China is urging their neighbor to the north to cease their nuclear weapons testing program.

“Do not violate the U.N.’s decision or provoke international society’s goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests,”  said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday.

The comments follow from a vote to strengthen sanctions against North Korea passed by the UN Security Council Saturday. The UN has had it with North Korea’s refusal to respect an international sentiment against nuclear proliferation and its impatience is demonstrated by the seriousness of this round of sanctions, which include:

  • Total export ban on coal, North Korea’s largest export.
  • Total export bans on iron, iron ore, seafood, lead, and lead ore.
  • Stopping foreign investments in North Korea through joint ventures.
  • Further restriction on revenue sources, including a ban on countries accepting North Korean laborers.

The Associated Press reports that Wang implored North Korea to “maintain calm” and that Susan Thornton, the top Asia diplomat from the US, said that it is paramount that China is “continuing to implement fully the sanctions regime”.

The Chinese stance has lightened Trump’s attitude toward them, as the president came out late Saturday in praise of the UN’s vote commending the sentiment of the Asian power. Trump has previously accused China and Russia of “enabling” North Korea by not exerting more pressure against their conduct. But, for now, the international response to North Korea is unified.

“The President appreciates China’s and Russia’s cooperation in securing passage of this resolution,” the press secretary’s office said in a statement.

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