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China calls for lifting North Korea sanctions after Trump-Kim meet

A foreign ministry spokesperson said the United Nations Security Council’s actions should support and conform to the efforts of current diplomatic talks towards denuclearising the Korean peninsula, promoting a political solution

world Updated: Jun 12, 2018 17:04 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Kim Jong un,Donald Trump,Trump-Kim Summit
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel in Singapore on Tuesday. (REUTERS photo)

China pitched for the lifting of sanctions imposed on North Korea on Tuesday, soon after US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong un pledged to work towards denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

“The UN Security Council resolutions that have been passed say that if North Korea respects and acts in accordance with the resolutions, sanction measures can be adjusted (whether for pausing or removing them),” foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at the regular ministry briefing on Tuesday.

Although China is North Korea’s key economic benefactor, it had also imposed sanctions on the isolated country after its government tested nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

“China has consistently held that sanctions are not a goal in themselves. The security council’s actions should support and conform to the efforts of current diplomatic talks towards denuclearising the Korean peninsula, promoting a political solution,” said Geng.

The meeting between Trump and Kim was of “great significance” and had “created history”, he added.

Earlier in the day, state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi said China was hoping that North Korea and the United States manage to reach a consensus on denuclearisation. “We hope that the two countries’ highest leaders can dispel interference, establish mutual trust, overcome difficulties and reach a basic consensus on promoting and achieving denuclearisation of the peninsula, besides promoting and establishing a peace mechanism,” Wang told reporters. “We hope to see all relevant sides making positive efforts on this. China will continue to play a constructive role.”

Wang said any consensus should also take North Korea’s “reasonable security concerns” into account. “I think nobody can doubt the extremely unique and important role China has played (here). And it will continue to play this role,” he added.

First Published: Jun 12, 2018 17:03 IST