China’s top diplomat said Thursday he agrees additional sanctions need to be imposed on North Korea, following the country’s sixth nuclear test Sunday.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the statement during a joint press conference in Beijing with Nepal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara — a sign China could be willing to cooperate on further sanctions.
Neither Chinese President Xi Jinping nor Russian President Vladimir Putin had indicated they were willing to pursue sanctions.
During a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Putin said the North Korea crisis cannot be “resolved by sanctions alone,” a sign Moscow could be hesitant to press forward with fresh penalties at the United Nations Security Council.
Wang is taking a different approach, according to South Korean news service News 1.
“Given the new unfolding developments on the Korean peninsula, China agrees with the point the U.N. Security Council should take necessary measures,” the Chinese foreign minister said.
He added, “Sanctions are only half a solution, so dialogue and negotiations should be carried out together.”
The United States is circulating a draft resolution at the Security Council, that would allow U.S. Navy and Air Force ships to stop and search North Korean vessels in international waters, The New York Times reported.
Military interdictions at sea, however, could raise tensions not seen since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when President John F. Kennedy ordered a blockade of the island, according to the report.
The draft resolution also proposes a ban on oil shipments, a move that China has resisted in the past.
By Elizabeth Shim