China urges UN Security Council to reconsider sanctions on North Korea

 Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang.

After the failure of the North Korea-US summit yesterday, China urged the UN Security Council to reconsider the sanctions imposed on Pyongyang in order to move forward in the negotiations for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

"China believes that according to relevant resolutions and the progress made in the peninsula, especially measures taken by North Korea on denuclearization, the UNSC needs to consider and hold a debate about revoking the provisions of the Council in order to modify sanctions," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un held a meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Hanoi (Vietnam) to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and other issues.

According to explanations provided by Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the negotiations failed when Kim Jong-Un offered to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear research facility - where North Korea produces nuclear material for its weapons - in exchange for a complete lifting of sanctions.

On the other hand, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho contradicted this version of the negotiations hours later in a press conference in Hanoi, saying that Kim Jong-Un only asked that Washington lift "part of the sanctions" that affect the country's economy.

"After the summit, we have noticed that both sides made statements about the lifting of sanctions. They are different from each other but both sides believe lifting sanctions is an important part of denuclearization and it should be considered," the Chinese spokesman said in a news conference.

Lu Kang urged all parties to deal with the issue in a "responsible manner" and make joint efforts to reach an agreement.

China, which is North Korea's primary trade partner and main political ally, has in recent months accepted the adoption of harsh sanctions against Pyongyang by the UN Security Council in order to pressure Kim Jong-Un's regime into stopping its nuclear weapon and missile development programs.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry refused to comment on reports that Kim Jong-Un might stop in China on his way back from Vietnam - on an armored train - to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and discuss the results of his meeting with Trump.