The Chinese government has agreed to additional international sanctions on North Korea. This is considered a significant change in stance in that China previously sheltered the North until recently whenever sanctions were mentioned regarding its nuclear weapons tests.
During his recent summit talks with US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping remarked that he would deter Kim Jong-un from developing nuclear weapons. Under such circumstances, keen attention is being paid to what will become of bilateral relations between North Korea and China.
“There has been some meaningful breakthrough on the part of China regarding the issue of sanctions against North Korea,” said an anonymous UN source on June 23 (local time), adding,“Recently, two matters that required China’s approval have been resolved through its consent.”These two issues were an increase in personnel of the expert group in the UN Security Council Sanctions against North Korea and the disclosure of the group’s report regarding extra sanctions against the North.
The committee is joined by 15 members of the UN Security Council, including the United States, China, Russia, Great Britain and France. The expert group features seven members from the five permanent members as well as Korea and Japan.
The source continued, “This implies that China is taking the North Korea nuclear issue very seriously and is going to take a more aggressive stance than before in regards to imposing restrictions on North Korea.”
The Chinese government also gave its consent on the disclosure of the sanctions report. “The committee recently discussed the issue of disclosing the report, which was submitted to the committee by the expert group, to UN member states and China has agreed, meaning the report can be made public this week,” he explained, adding, “China refused the disclosure in the past, and therefore the change in the attitude is seen as being quite meaningful diplomatically.”
Back in May 2011, the UN Security Council discussed the adoption of an annual report drawn up by the expert group, with China against the plan. At that time, China even violated the silence procedure, which means no opposition for a certain period of time is interpreted as agreement when the Security Council makes a decision.