China Pressured to Help With N. Korea Sanctions

China Pressured to Help With N. Korea Sanctions

A senior US diplomat stepped up pressure on China on Wednesday to cooperate on new, tough sanctions meant to make North Korea suffer for a recent nuclear test that raised worries about advancements in its bomb program.
US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in South Korea on a diplomatic push for tougher sanctions that can force change in the North.
Key to those efforts is whether China, the North’s last major ally and a veto-wielding UN Security Council member, will join in imposing any harsh punishment on the North, AP reported.
“We believe that China has a special role to play given the special relationship that it has with North Korea,” Blinken told reporters after meeting with South Korean officials.
He said Beijing has “more influence and leverage” over Pyongyang than any other country because most of its trade goes from, to or through China. Blinken flies to Beijing later Wednesday for talks on North Korea.
China is expected to join in some UN sanctions, but won’t likely go as far as to take steps that might lead to the collapse of the North’s authoritarian government. China fears the onslaught of a wave of refugees and violence surging across the border, analysts say.
North Korea says it conducted a hydrogen bomb test on Jan. 6. Many governments and experts remain highly skeptical about the North’s claim, but whatever device North Korea detonated will likely push the country a step closer toward its goal of manufacturing a miniaturized warhead to place on a missile that can threaten the US mainland.

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