Japan will push for China to take a greater role in adopting a new U.N. Security Council resolution against North Korea’s nuclear test last week, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said.
“Given its influence on North Korea, China is in a key position,” Kishida told reporters Saturday in the city of Hiroshima, his constituency.
“It’s important to adopt a strong resolution soon,” Kishida emphasized. “We will continue to collaborate with other countries.”
Kishida said he plans to call his counterparts in China and Russia, members of the so-called six-party talks on North Korean disarmament.
At the Security Council on Friday, backstage talks on tougher sanctions for the reclusive state continued.
Several options are now on the table, including the freezing of assets for a wider range of individuals and organizations, a broader trade embargo and a tightening of cargo and ship inspections, sources said.
Past sanctions were imposed via four Security Council resolutions. In the first, adopted after North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006, Article 41 of the U.N. Charter was invoked for the first time to demand that U.N. members implement the sanctions.
But critics say some of the countries have only tepidly enforced the sanctions, weakening their intended effect.
According to a recent analysis of Chinese customs data by a South Korean lawmaker, the value of luxury items, including automobiles subject to an existing embargo, imported by North Korea in 2014 came to some $800 million.
While China joined the U.S. , Japan and others in condemning the North’s latest atomic test, it could still resist efforts by other countries to strengthen the sanctions, sources close to the situation said.
By telephone on Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded coolly to South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se’s enthusiastic call for close cooperation on adopting a tough UNSC response.
Wang said China maintains the three principles of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, sustaining peace and stability there and resolving problems through dialogue.
None of the three principles, which are linked to each other, should be left lacking, Wang added.