VARIOUS: China condemns Japan's UN resolution to impose sanctions on North Korea following Pyongyang's...
- Title: VARIOUS: China condemns Japan's UN resolution to impose sanctions on North Korea following Pyongyang's missile tests as diplomacy continues
- Date: 11th July 2006
- Summary: (BN17) UNITED NATIONS (FILE) (REUTERS) NEWS CAMERAS
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- Topics: Defence / Military
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- Story Text: China condemned a Japan-sponsored U.N. resolution to slap sanctions on North Korea over its missile tests on Tuesday(July 11), calling it an over-reaction that would split the Security Council.
The U.N. Security Council delayed a vote overnight on the resolution to impose sanctions on the isolated state to allow time for a high-level Chinese delegation to talk to Pyongyang.
"The Chinese side thinks the concerned draft resolution is an over-reaction. If approved, it will aggravate contradictions and increase tension," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a news conference. "It will hurt efforts to resume six-party talks as well as lead to the U.N. Security Council splitting."
The statement came as a top Senior U.S. diplomat Christopher Hill, Washington's top man on North Korea, flew into Beijing on Tuesday, seeking a briefing on China's urgent efforts to resolve the crisis by diplomatic means.
"We have the DPRK (North Korea) which, instead of coming to the six-party process, is firing off missiles of all shapes and sizes, missiles that are aimed at not just us but countries in the region," Hill told reporters at his hotel.
He said that he hoped to meet Chinese officials later on Tuesday, that he wanted to see what "kind of leverage" Beijing had over Pyongyang and that he hoped for progress in bringing North Korea back to the six-party talks on its nuclear programme.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei was still in North Korea, the spokeswoman said, contradicting earlier Korean media reports that he had returned home. Vice Premier Hui Liangyu flew to North Korea on Monday for a six-day visit.
Jiang added that the problems could not be resolved in one or two trips and solely through diplomatic efforts by the Chinese side.
Chinese President Hu Jintao told visiting North Korean parliamentarian Yang Hyong Sop that China opposed any action that would stoke tension on the Korean peninsula. State media said he urged all parties to take steps conducive to peace and stability.
A U.S. State Department official said on Sunday (July 9) Washington believed it had the backing in the 15-member council for the resolution to pass. Veto-wielding China opposes sanctions.
Hill rushed to northeast Asia late last week, visiting Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo in an effort to forge a unified response to Wednesday's multiple missile launches, which have ratcheted up tension and exposed fault lines in responses by regional powers.
China, backed by Russia, submitted its own draft of a U.N. Security Council statement on Monday, fearing that a binding resolution imposing sanctions might be used to lay the groundwork for future military action. South Korea also opposes sanctions.
The United States, Britain and Japan, however, disagreed with China's proposed statement.
Tokyo reiterated on Tuesday it intended to call for a vote on the binding resolution eventually.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters that Japan would patiently wait to see how the Chinese mediation developed.
"Regarding this missile issue, each country has its own position. There's no magic pill or quick fix for this," Koizumi said at Prime Minister's Official Residence.
"Still, we will explain our position with patience and get the international community to cooperate as one in order to discourage North Korea from taking further reckless actions," he added.
Seoul, meanwhile, planned to press Pyongyang delegates at North-South ministerial talks this week in the southern city of Pusan on reasons for the missile tests and its nuclear plans.
In 1998, North Korea launched a long-range missile which flew over Japan before splashing into the sea, prompting Tokyo to seek a stern response at the United Nations.
Last Wednesday's test-firing of no fewer than seven missiles has rekindled a debate in Japan over whether Tokyo should develop the capability to make pre-emptive strikes and whether these would violate its post-World War Two pacifist constitution.
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