South Korea and China Oppose Sanction Strategies on North Korea Punishment

John Kim, Jan. 15, 2016, 8:48 a.m.

China is opposed to a set of tougher sanctions on North Korea proposed by South Korea, the U.S., and Japan, a diplomatic source said Friday after key direct consultations between Seoul and Beijing. Hwang Joon-kook, South Korea's chief nuclear envoy, held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei in Beijing a day earlier. It was their first face-to-face meeting between them since the North's nuclear test on Jan. 6.

The two sides agreed to seek a "clear and certain" response to the North's provocation, Hwang told reporters. It strongly suggested that Beijing is against pushing Pyongyang too hard amid efforts by Seoul, Washington and Tokyo for "strong and comprehensive" sanctions. Hwang pointed out the format of the U.N. Security Council's punitive step has been already set. The 15-member council agreed to adopt a resolution. Its contents are a sticking point and it remains uncertain how quickly a resolution will be produced. Hwang would not reveal details.

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