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China warns UN not to add 'fuel to the fire' after North Korean missile test

·2 min read

China's envoy on North Korean issues Liu Xiaoming said on Friday the United Nations Security Council should not add "fuel to the fire," indicating his reluctance to back US efforts to pursue a new sanctions resolution following its recent ballistic missile test.

Liu, who recently visited the United States and met White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell, posted on Twitter that the Security Council should play a "constructive role for the political settlement" of issues related to the Korean peninsula.

"Any action it takes should be conducive to de-escalation and dialogue, instead of adding fuel to the fire," he added.

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The United States has been calling on China and Russia, both permanent veto-wielding members of the council, to cooperate in imposing tougher sanctions on North Korea, which test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile in March, the first such launch since 2017.

But US special envoy to North Korea Sung Kim told reporters on Wednesday that he cannot yet say "productive discussions" are taking place with the two countries.

The United States is seeing its rivalry with China escalate, while its ties with Russia have deteriorated to levels not seen since the Cold War following the invasion of Ukraine.

Beijing's North Korean envoy Liu Xiaoming said the UN Security Council should play a "constructive role". Photo: Reuters alt=Beijing's North Korean envoy Liu Xiaoming said the UN Security Council should play a "constructive role". Photo: Reuters>

The White House has repeatedly said it remains open to diplomacy with North Korea to progress toward the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

But the administration has not received any response from Pyongyang despite multiple attempts to reach out, according to Kim.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2022 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2022. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.