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China warns Japan not to abandon dialogue for sanctions in dealing with North Korea

Reuters

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Taro Kono, his Japanese counterpart, that talking only about sanctions for North Korea rather than focusing on dialogue will be seen as going against United Nations resolutions.

Tensions have continued to rise since North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3, prompting a new round of U.N. sanctions.

Wang told Kono on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting in New York that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is getting increasingly serious and all sides need to remain calm.

Resuming peace talks is just as much a part of the U.N. resolutions as enforcing sanctions, Wang said, according to a statement issued by China’s Foreign Ministry late Friday.

“If the Japanese side only talks about sanctions and does not bring up talks, or even goes against talks, it will be seen as contravening Security Council resolutions,” the ministry cited Wang as saying.

China hopes that Japan will talk and act cautiously and also play a constructive role on the nuclear issue, he said.

Beijing has repeatedly expressed concern about the rise of tensions over North Korea and, while it too has signed up for the increasingly tough U.N. sanctions, it has also urged a return to talks and for all parties to exercise restraint.

On Friday, Russia urged “hot heads” to calm down as the United States admitted it feels “challenged” by North Korea’s warning that it could test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.

Trump on Friday called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a “madman,” a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who would face the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” in retaliation for Trump saying the U.S. will “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatens the United States or its allies.