China, S.Korea agree on tougher sanctions against DPRK

World Today

North Koreans gather at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium where portraits of the late leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il, right, are hung over words that read: “The Great Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il will always be with us,” as part of celebrations of the “Day of the Shining Star,” or birthday anniversary of Kim Jong Il on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Pyongyang. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

The DPRK’s recent rocket launch and the current situation on the Korean Peninsula topped the agenda at high-level talks between China and South Korea in Seoul on Tuesday. Both sides also agreed that tougher sanctions should be placed on the DPRK through the United Nations.

On Feb. 7, Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket carrying what it called a satellite, drawing renewed international condemnation just weeks after it carried out a nuclear test. Under U.N. Security Council resolutions, the DPRK is banned from firing any kind of ballistic missile.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui reiterated that China opposes the deployment of the advanced U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea.

Zhang made the remarks after meeting his South Korean counterpart Lim Sung-nam at the 7th South Korea-China Strategic Dialogue.

Zhang is the first senior Chinese official to visit South Korea since the DPRK’s fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6, which it claims was of a hydrogen bomb.

It is the seventh time South Korea and China have held high-level talks, or strategic dialogue, since their launch in December 2008.

The talks are held one day after China’s Foreign Ministry expressed hope for an easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula against the backdrop of a sensitive and complex situation.

According to Hong Lei, spokesman of China’s Foreign Ministry, China will continue to steadfastly promote denuclearization of the peninsula and is committed to solving the issue through dialogue and negotiation.

On Tuesday morning, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said that the DPRK’s actions show it does not want peace. She pledged to take strong measures against the country over its nuclear program, while addressing the National Assembly.