China suggests North Korea sanctions relief as Trump, Kim meet

Kim Kyung Hoon  Reuters
Kim Kyung Hoon Reuters
Author

13 June, 2018

President Trump warned Kim Jong-un before the United Nations General Assembly last September that the US stands ready to obliterate North Korea. Geng said sanctions are not an end.

China is North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic backer, despite its anger at Pyongyang's saber rattling.

US President Donald Trump speaks while North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un looks at the signed document that acknowledge the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going, after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore.

"The relevant resolutions passed by the UN Security Council stipulate that ... adjustment to the sanctions has to be made in accordance with the situation on how North Korea has implemented the agreement - including suspending or removing relevant sanctions measures", Geng said.

"China has consistently held that sanctions are not the goal in themselves". "Previous agreements have committed North Korea to allowing [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspectors back into the country, to adhering to worldwide arms control treaties, and so forth".

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As North Korea was conducting multiple missile tests previous year and threatening to attack the U.S., Mr. Trump responded with rhetoric that was unusually aggressive for a U.S. leader.

"The U.S. has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea", the President warned.

"Of course, we are willing to see all relevant sides making positive efforts on this".

After the Central Intelligence Agency informed Congress North Korea had built a centrifuge facility, another major step in the nuclear process, Pyongyang formally withdrew from the non-proliferation agreement in January 2003. "And this role will continue".

Lasting peace has obvious benefits for China, especially in bolstering the development of its rust-belt and landlocked northeast which borders North Korea and would suffer in the even of conflict.


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