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After Trump-Kim meeting, China makes case for relaxing sanctions on North Korea

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BEIJING: As US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un held their historic summit in Singapore on Tuesday, a wary China made out a case for lifting of UN sanctions against Pyongyang and highlighted its central role in working out a new peace mechanism for the Korean Peninsula.


Trump and Kim today held a comprehensive and in-depth dialogue
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in Singapore on the issues related to the establishment of new relations between the two countries and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

The North Korean leader agreed to work toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” in return for security guarantees from the US as Trump wrapped up his historic summit which he described as “honest, direct and productive.”

For world, Trump-Kim summit raises cautious hope for peace

Around Asia and the world, many have welcomed a flurry of diplomacy between the two adversaries in recent months, after a year of mounting tension and threats. Hopes for peace on the long-divided Korean Peninsula, however, remain tempered by the many failed attempts in the past.

“We believe that this is the only correct direction for resolving the peninsula issue. That is to say, it should be solved through dialogue, through peaceful means,” Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi said soon after Trump and Kim began their meeting.

He said “to solve this problem, of course, we need to achieve denuclearisation and complete denuclearisation”, Trump’s main demand that North Korea should dismantle its nuclear weapons programme.

“At the same time, we must also establish a peninsula peace mechanism and resolve the reasonable security concerns of North Korea,” Wang said.

Highlighting the central role for China, which is a close ally of North Korea, the Chinese foreign minister said, “I don’t think anyone would doubt the unique and important role China has played in this process, and it will continue to play.

China had provided its aircraft to Kim to travel to Singapore. There is also speculation that the North Korean leader would visit Beijing on his way back from Singapore or will soon apprise Chinese President Xi Jinping about his talks with Trump.

Kim has already visited China twice to meet Xi, ahead of his meeting with Trump, to ally apprehensions of striking a deal with Washington on the back of Beijing.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang denied Trump’s allegation that Beijing, in the last few months, has relaxed implementation of sanctions in the last few months, saying the UN Security Council resolutions on imposing sanctions on North Korea also provides for relaxing or suspending them, if situation improves.

In his post-summit press conference, Trump alleged that China was relaxing sanctions at its North Korean border as the situation improved.

The US President also said that sanctions will remain in place until Pyangyong halts and dismantles its nuclear programme.

“China has been following UNSC sanctions comprehensively and strictly observing obligations. There is no question about that,” Geng said, refuting allegations of relaxing sanctions.

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“About the lifting of the sanction, UNSC resolutions have relevant stipulations. It is said that in accordance with the compliance of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the official name of North Korea DPRK) and development of the situation the UNSC will consider relief or lift the sanctions on DPRK.

“Sanctions are not endless. We believe the UNSC should support the current diplomatic efforts and contribute to the settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue,” Geng said.

He also emphasised China’s central role on the Korean Peninsula issue in establishing any future peace mechanism, saying that Beijing is a signatory to Korean Armistice Agreement of 1953 which ended the Korean war.

“Regarding the peace mechanism, I want to say China is an important party to the Korean Peninsula affairs and also signatory to the Armistice treaty. We have the responsibility and obligation to play role in making the transition from treaty to peace mechanism and continue to take part in this process and make contributions in realising denuclearisation in upholding the peace stability of Korean Peninsula”, Geng said.

Updated: June 12, 2018 — 11:16 pm

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