China on Monday endorsed sanctions against North Korea in the event of a new nuclear or rocket test, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Kim Kyun said.
“Seoul and Beijing were both of the opinion that strong, additional measures should be taken if North Korea pushes ahead with strategic provocations like a nuclear test or an intercontinental ballistic missile, launched in defiance of international warnings,’’ he said.
Kim had consulted with the Chinese Ombudsman for the Korean Peninsula Wu Dawei earlier in Seoul.
The comments came two days after the U.S. responded to North Korea’s recent missile launches by ordering a group of U.S. warships to change course and head toward waters off the Korean peninsula.
China had earlier called on all parties to “show self-restraint” and avoid worsening the situation.
“China is paying close attention to the development of the situation in the Korean peninsula.
“Under the current situation, each party should show self-restraint and not do anything that would cause the situation to escalate,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying said.
The warships including the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, two guided-missile destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser which on Saturday cancelled a trip to Australia and headed from Singapore to the waters off Korea.
That happened as part of the U.S. response to North Korea’s recent missile launches.
“The order to change course was “a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific.
“North Korea continues to be a threat “due to its reckless, irresponsible, and destabilizing programme of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability,” Commander Dave Benham, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command said.
North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the East China Sea last week ahead of a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
Trump and Xi discussed the North Korean nuclear issue in their talks at the Mar-a-Lago resort.