- Title: CHINA: Activity on China-North Korea border continues after UN sanctions
- Date: 18th October 2006
- Summary: (BN02) SINUIJU, NORTH KOREA (OCTOBER 18, 2006) (REUTERS) NORTH KOREA RIVER BANK/ CRANES AMID FORESTED AREA
- Embargoed: 3rd November 2006 03:16
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA7DIH9G78I2MKPJPP4IET4HWDI
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Trucks drove from North Korea into the border Chinese town of Dandong on Wednesday (October 18) as U.S. media reported the isolated nation was planning a series of underground nuclear tests.
No Chinese trucks were seen going into North Korea on the dawn of Wednesday as Chinese soldiers stood along the border to inspect vehicles coming in. Under the Security Council resolution over Pyongyang's reported nuclear test, nations can stop cargo going to and from North Korea to check for weapons of mass destruction.
It blocks trade with the secretive country in dangerous weapons, heavy conventional weapons and luxury goods. And it asks governments to freeze funds connected with its WMD programme. China has said it strictly abides by its commitments resulting from U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718 with regard to North Korea, passed by diplomats on Saturday (October 14).
China's foreign ministry said the current construction on the border area with North Korea was unrelated to the sanctions or the nuclear tests in North Korea. The project has been in place for a long time and is meant to improve order and controls at the border, officials said.
Longer term, the resolution will pinch an already damaged economy but it is the masses who will likely be most hurt.
Analysts said that the way China -- the nearest the isolated North has to an ally -- interprets the sanctions will be very different from Japan, which has demanded tough action.
"China sends aid and goods to North Korea mainly through ground transportation. Chinese cargos rarely go to DPRK and cargos from North Korea seldom enter China. Therefore it will not be Chinese cargos that should be inspected in general. Secondly, Chinese government always stays out of the PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative) system established by America and its allies. And it is impossible for China to dispatch any naval force for interception mission in the future," said Shi Yinghong, an International Relations expert. The PSI was launched in May 2003 and encourages countries to interdict weapons from North Korea, Iran and other states of concern.
"China is in a dilemma right now. On one hand, it does not want to see a North Korea equipped with nuclear weapons, which will bring various troubles and problems. On the other hand, China is concerned that if the sanctions hit North Korea too fast and too hard, it could destroy relationship between the two neighbours, or even worse, lead to a collapsed North Korea, which would be disastrous to China's interests and stability in east Asia," Shi Yinghong said.
The U.N. World Food said its concern is that the overall environment, including action by the North, was making it more difficult to reach people just as aid needs rise, with the onset of winter approaching.
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