May 25 (UPI) — China’s top diplomat called on the United States to ease North Korea sanctions, the same day North Korea’s Kim Jong Un discussed strengthening nuclear deterrence, according to state media reports.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday action is more important between the United States and North Korea than “sitting down to discuss” differing points of view.
While “dialogue is better than nothing,” Wang said Washington and Pyongyang need to take action in order to promote “mutual trust” and “overcome the deadlock.”
“In the past few years, North Korea has taken active steps to relieve tensions and denuclearize, but regrettably it has been unable to obtain a substantial response from the United States, which has led to stalled U.S.-North Korea talks,” Wang said, referring to sanctions.
China has offered to provide a mediating role between the United States and North Korea in recent years. In September at the United Nations General Assembly, Wang called on the United States and North Korea to “build trust through synchronized actions.”
“The way forward is parallel progress in denuclearization,” Wang had said last year, referring to a step-by-step denuclearization supported by Beijing. “North Korea is meeting the United States halfway, rolling back terms, in order to bolster the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue.”
China has also supported the lifting of North Korea sanctions at the U.N. Security Council, alleging economic embargoes have impacted ordinary people in the country.
In his first public appearance in more than 20 days, the North Korean leader had said during an enlarged meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party to “bolster the overall armed forced forces.”
The meeting could be a sign Pyongyang is soon to hold a plenary meeting of the party’s Central Committee, where it could decide to cancel a moratorium on nuclear tests, according to Yonhap.