China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday told his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho that Pyongyang should stop abusing “the international community’s goodwill.” The two neighbors and allies met on the fringes of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila after the United Nations unanimously agreed to impose further sanctions upon the rogue regime this weekend.
Wang told reporters that he had advised Ri not to “violate the U.N. decision or provoke the international community’s goodwill by conducting missile launches or nuclear tests.” The Chinese minister also asked Washington and Seoul to “stop increasing tensions” and to return to the negotiating table instead.
On Saturday, China joined the other members of the U.N. Security Council in imposing additional sanctions on Kim Jong-un’s regime following Pyongyang’s two successful ICBM launches last month. The new UN resolution (UNSCR 2371), which will ban around one third of the country’s total exports worth around $3 billion annually, will target various sectors of the North Korean economy namely coal ($400 million), iron and iron ore ($250 million), lead and lead ore ($110 million), and fish and seafood ($295 million).
Countries will also be prohibited from granting new work permits to North Korean laborers while new joint ventures with NK entities – or additional investments in existing ones – will be barred.
Beijing and Moscow voted in favor of the new sanctions after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged that Washington would not be pursuing regime change in Pyongyang or push for a speedy reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley described the new set of sanctions as “the single largest economic-sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime.” She also stressed that the new measures would give Pyongyang a taste of its own medicine.
“These sanctions will cut deep and, in doing so, will give the North Korean leadership a taste of the deprivations they have chosen to inflict on the North Korean people,” she said following the unanimous vote.
Around a quarter of North Koreans are malnourished while over 50 percent of the population lacks consistent access to sufficient food.
President Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to welcome the new sanctions imposed upon the rogue regime.
“The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 to sanction North Korea. China and Russia voted with us. Very big financial impact!” he wrote.
Hayley was however cautious.
“The threat of an outlaw nuclearized North Korean dictatorship remains,” she said before adding that “[…] we should not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem – not even close.”Share