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UN puts new sanctions on North Korea

By Chen Weihua in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-03-03 12:12

The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday imposing new sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for its latest nuclear and ballistic missile-related activities.

In the Resolution 2270, sponsored by the United States, the 15-member Security Council condemned "in the strongest terms" the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on Jan 6, noting that it was "in violation and flagrant disregard" of the council's prior resolutions. It also condemned DPRK's Feb 7 launch, which used ballistic missile technology and was a "serious violation".

Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, reiterated China's opposition to the North Koreans' tests. He said China sticks to the principle of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula; maintaining the peace and stability of the peninsula; and resolving the issue through dialogue and negotiation.

"The Security Council resolution passed today has reflected that principle. It shows the seriousness of the international community in opposing DPRK's further development of the nuclear and missile capacity and protecting the global non-proliferation regime," he said.

Liu urged parties involved to return to the Six-Party Talks, saying, "Today's adoption should be a new starting point and a paving stone for political settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

"Sanctions are not an end in themselves," he said, emphasizing that history has shown that dialogue and negotiation make up the only correct path to the denuclearization of the peninsula.

China has proposed a dual-track parallel approach that includes denuclearization and replacing the 1953 armistice agreement with a peace agreement.

Liu and Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin expressed their opposition to deploying a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea. The Republic of Korea and the US are in consultation about the possible deployment of the system in response to the DPRK.

Liu said the situation on the peninsula is tense and sensitive. "All the parties should refrain from actions that will aggravate tensions on the peninsula," he said.

He described the deployment of THAAD as an action that will hurt the strategic and security interest of China and other countries in the region and runs contrary to the goal of maintaining peace, security and stability.

"It will seriously damage the efforts by the international community to seek a political solution," he said.

"Todays unanimous action by the Security Council has sent a clear message that the DPRK must return to full compliance with its international obligations," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

He said the firm response by the Security Council should put an end to the cycle of provocation and lead to the resumption of dialogue in accordance with the unified view of the international community.

The resolution expands sanctions against the DPRK by imposing a ban on all exports, including coal, iron, iron ore, gold, titanium ore, vanadium ore and rare earth metals, and banning the supply of all types of aviation fuel, including rocket fuel, according to a UN press release.

It also requires all states to inspect all cargo to and from the DPRK, not just that suspected of containing prohibited items, as was previously the case. The resolution also bans the leasing or chartering of vessels or airplanes, crew services to the country, and the registration of vessels, while calling on states to de-register any DPRK-owned or controlled vessels.

The resolution also states that all countries shall ban any flights and deny entry into their ports of any vessel suspected of carrying prohibited items.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry applauded the resolution on Wednesday.

"Today, the international community, speaking with one voice, has sent Pyongyang a simple message: North Korea must abandon these dangerous programs and choose a better path for its people," Obama said in a statement.

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