China urged a return to disarmament talks with North Korea in response to South Korea’s call for tougher sanctions after Kim Jong Un’s regime conducted its fourth nuclear test.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung Se by phone on Friday that efforts should be made to pave the way for negotiations on nuclear arms in North Korea, according to a text message from South Korea’s foreign ministry on Saturday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged China on Thursday to support a more aggressive approach with Pyongyang. The international community needs to coordinate on pursuing sanctions, Yun told Wang.
As North Korea’s biggest trading partner, the pressure is on China to rein in Kim as the country’s isolation, as well as its economic structure, make it difficult for sanctions to be effective. South Korea responded to Wednesday’s surprise nuclear test by resuming loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts along the demilitarized zone, a move that has pushed the Korean peninsula “toward the brink of war,” Yonhap News cited North Korean Workers’ Party Secretary Kim Ki Nam as saying at a rally.