- Title: Asian neighbours welcome new U.N. sanctions against North Korea
- Date: 1st December 2016
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (FILE - 2015) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF JAPANESE PARLIAMENT BUILDING JAPANESE FLAG WAVING IN THE WIND OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT BUILDING
- Embargoed: 16th December 2016 09:15
- Keywords: UN resolution 2321 North Korea nuclear sanction reaction THAAD
- Location: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA/ TOKYO, JAPAN/ BEIJING, CHINA
- City: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA/ TOKYO, JAPAN/ BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: Various
- Reuters ID: LVA0025B1XC1X
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: North Korea's neighbouring nations on Thursday (December 1) welcomed new U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang.
The United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Wednesday (November 30) aimed at cutting the Asian country's annual export revenue by a quarter in response to Pyongyang's fifth and largest nuclear test in September.
The 15-member council unanimously adopted a resolution to slash North Korea's biggest export, coal, by about 60 percent with an annual sales cap of $400.9 million (USD) or 7.5 million metric tons, whichever is lower.
South Korea's foreign ministry praised the sanctions and added it will pursue further unilateral sanctions against rival North Korea in the wake of its latest nuclear test.
In Tokyo, Japan's top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said that the new sanctions would control the North's resources.
"The decision was to further strengthen sanctions that were set in March this year, by the United Nations Security Council, in North Korea. We will strictly regulate the flow of capital, goods, and people and especially, North Korea's export of its major resource, coal - which will be regulated with us indicating a specific number ceiling," Suga said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China has always enforced U.N. resolutions responsibly, and that would be the case with the new sanctions.
"We reckon that the resolution 2321 should be completely carried out in a balance way. Secondly, the current situation on the peninsula is complex and sensitive. China has always committed to realizing denuclearization, has committed to protecting the peace and stability on the peninsula and has committed to resolving the problem through dialogue and negotiation. The current top priority is to resume the dialogue and negotiation as soon as possible, reduce the tension on the peninsula and resume the six-party talks as soon as possible," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media at a regular briefing in Beijing.
Geng repeated a call for a return to talks, and also said all sides should avoid doing anything to worsen the situation.
"China calls on the relevant sides to avoid taking any works and actions that could intensify the situation. China opposes deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system. Urge the relevant sides to immediately stop the deployment process," he said.
Beijing has said the planned U.S. deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea would seriously affect China's security and do nothing to get North Korea back to the table.
China, believed to be the only country buying North Korean coal, would slash its imports by some $700 million compared with 2015 sales under the new sanctions, diplomats said.
Over the first 10 months of 2016, China imported 18.6 million tonnes of coal from North Korea, up almost 13 percent from a year earlier. North Korean exports to the end of 2016 will now be capped at $53.5 million, or 1 million metric tonnes.
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