News ID: 206876
Published: 1006 GMT December 25, 2017

Russia, China urge peaceful resolution to Korean Peninsula tensions

Russia, China urge peaceful resolution to Korean Peninsula tensions

Russia and China each signaled Monday a desire for a peaceful resolution to the tensions surrounding North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile activity.

 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told said no one wants to see war on the Korean Peninsula and that he hopes the United States is not planning a military approach to resolving the situation.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a briefing that all countries should “exercise restraint and make proactive and constructive efforts to ease the tensions on the peninsula.”

China also said new UN sanctions should not have a detrimental humanitarian impact on North Korean civilians or affect “normal economic exchanges and cooperation.”

The UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday for its recent intercontinental ballistic missile test, seeking to limit its access to refined petroleum products and crude oil and its earnings from workers abroad.

The US-drafted resolution also caps crude oil supplies to North Korea at four million barrels a year and commits the council to further reductions if it were to conduct another nuclear test or launch another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The measure also orders UN members to send home all North Koreans working in foreign countries to within two years – a move aimed at cutting off a source of revenue for Kim Jong-un’s government, which routinely confiscates much of their earnings.

The United States estimates as many as 80,000 North Koreans work in China and at least 30,000 in Russia.

The North's old allies China and Russia both supported the latest UN sanctions.

North Korea said it is a "pipe dream" for the US to think it will give up its nuclear weapons, and called the latest UN sanctions to target the country "an act of war" that violates its sovereignty.

"We define this 'sanctions resolution' rigged up by the US and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the region and categorically reject the 'resolution,'" North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The ministry said the sanctions are tantamount to a "complete economic blockade" of North Korea.

"If the US wishes to live safely, it must abandon its hostile policy towards the DPRK and learn to coexist with the country that has nuclear weapons and should wake up from its pipe dream of our country giving up nuclear weapons which we have developed and completed through all kinds of hardships," said the statement, carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

Reuters, AP and VOA contributed to this story. 

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