Harsher sanctions on NK are inevitable

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-26 0:23:01

China and the US have agreed on a new UN resolution to punish North Korea in Washington. During a press conference held by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his US counterpart John Kerry, both sides said "significant progress" has been made in talks about strengthening sanctions against North Korea, and Kerry said if approved, the new sanctions would go beyond previous resolutions against North Korea over nuclear and missile tests.

Recently, Beijing and Washington were engaged in an exchange of accusations, blaming each other for the failure of their own North Korea policies. However, this significant progress might mark the fact that both countries have compromised on this issue.

Pyongyang will bear some new costs for being a wheeler-dealer, and we believe the sanctions will impose unprecedented pain on the country. We, as a Chinese media, think North Korea deserves the punishment. It shouldn't complain to China about siding with the US on this case, and it needs more introspection.

China still values friendship with North Korea. But Pyongyang has made a terrible mistake in developing nuclear capability, which is a solid threat to China's national interest. China must consider the threat as it stands, and maintain a good relationship with North Korea at the same time.

We support that China should stick to its own stance on the sanctions, and cushion Washington's harsh sanctions to some extent. The US, South Korea and Japan should not expect that China follows their lead.

Pyongyang's opposition against sanctions is predicted, but it should understand that China has to balance between it and Washington, Seoul and Tokyo. Whether North Korea can positively view China's role will test Pyongyang's assessment of the reality. A nuclear-armed Pyongyang has posed a big challenge to China. If Pyongyang hopes our bilateral relationship should respect its nuclear ambition, then it is not a realistic wish.

China also opposes the goal advocated by Washington, Seoul and Tokyo to crush the North Korean economy, or even to collapse the regime. China insists the sanctions should focus on striking North Korea's ability to continue developing nuclear weapons. It is the fundamental difference between China's policy and that of the US, South Korea and Japan. China holds unswerving goodwill toward North Korea, which Chinese society hopes Pyongyang can understand.

International isolation will be worsened if Pyongyang insists on a nuclear path and takes further steps toward this goal. On this side, China can offer no help. In addition, China-US contradictions, which North Korea can exploit to consolidate its nuclear policy, will be reduced.

The Chinese public supports the government taking a firm stance against Pyongyang's nuclear ambition. At the same time, we are aware divisions on the North Korean nuclear issue will inevitably hurt mutual feelings. We would like to see the bilateral friendship maintained at a basic level, however it will not affect our firm attitude on the core issue.

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