China calls for new talks with North Korea on nukes
UNITED NATIONS (AP):
China's UN ambassador said on Tuesday that multiple North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile tests, with no end in sight, show the "very strong" need for new talks with Pyongyang to reduce tensions and try to achieve denuclearisation.
Liu Jieyi, whose country is closest to North Korea, said all progress with North Korea on eliminating nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula has come through dialogue, "so there's no reason why dialogue is not taking place in the current situation".
Liu spoke to reporters after emergency Security Council consultations behind closed doors on the North's latest missile test.
The United States, Britain and France have been pushing for a new UN resolution with tougher sanctions against North Korea.
But Liu said China "first and foremost" wants to see the six sanctions resolutions against North Korea already adopted by the council fully implemented.
"Meanwhile, we should also work to reduce tension, to de-escalate and also to try to achieve denuclearisation through dialogue by political and diplomatic means," he said. "Dialogue should take place because we can only resolve the issue through dialogue."
The Security Council late Monday strongly condemned North Korea's "flagrant and provocative defiance" of UN sanctions banning ballistic missile tests and again vowed "to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures including sanctions".
It also welcomed efforts by council members and others to facilitate "a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue" with North Korea.
Last Friday, North Korea's deputy UN ambassador Kim In Ryong told UN correspondents that the government will rapidly strengthen its nuclear strike capability as long as the United States maintains its "hostile policy" towards the country.
He said that if the Trump administration wants peace on the Korean Peninsula, it should replace the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a peace accord and halt its anti-North Korea policy, "the root cause of all problems."