TOKYO, Wu Dawei, China’s special representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs, said sanctions won’t solve the North Korea nuclear problem.
Wu, who met with Japanese politician Natsuo Yamaguchi in Tokyo Wednesday, said he is “concerned about the impact joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises are having on North Korea,” NHK reported.
The Chinese envoy added that while it’s important the United Nations Security Council sanctions should be implemented, the restrictions alone wouldn’t solve the problem.
North Korea has increased the number of announcements related to its weapons development in 2016, beginning with its claim of a “successful” hydrogen bomb test in January.
That announcement and its launch of a long-range rocket in February expedited the passage of a U.N. sanctions resolution in March.
Wu was in Japan to ask for Tokyo’s cooperation in restarting the six-party talks that were held to discuss North Korean denuclearization, until they were discontinued in 2009.
Yamaguchi reportedly said that while conversation with North Korea is important, Japan’s parliament had passed a resolution condemning North Korea’s nuclear test and missile launches.
Japan has also banned North Korean ships from entering Japanese ports, and is no longer admitting North Korean passport holders if they are returning to the country.
China and North Korea are traditional allies and close economic partners, but on Tuesday Beijing announced it is imposing new sanctions on North Korea that could hit Pyongyang’s vital trade in coal exports.
That move, however, doesn’t change the traditional alliance between the two countries, Chinese tabloid Global Times stated in an editorial issued Thursday, local time.
The notion China’s attitude toward the North has changed is “hype,” the statement read.