27-11-2021 06:54 AM Jerusalem Timing

US Envoy Calls for China ’Leadership’ in Sanctioning N. Korea

US Envoy Calls for China ’Leadership’ in Sanctioning N. Korea

A top US diplomat urged China on Wednesday to "show leadership" in international efforts to sanction Pyongyang following its fourth nuclear test, calling North Korea the greatest source of instability in Asia.

Tony BlinkenA top US diplomat urged China on Wednesday to "show leadership" in international efforts to sanction Pyongyang following its fourth nuclear test, calling North Korea the greatest source of instability in Asia.

US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who was in Seoul on a two-day visit, noted China had a particular role to play given its "special relationship" with its neighbor.

Blinken will meet with Chinese diplomats in Beijing on Thursday, ahead of a scheduled trip to China by US Secretary of State John Kerry next week, as Washington seeks to ramp up pressure on Beijing.

"We are looking to China to show leadership on the issue," Blinken said, after talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se.

China is North Korea's chief diplomatic protector and economic benefactor, but traditional ties have become strained as Beijing's patience has worn thin with Pyongyang's behavior and unwillingness to rein in its nuclear weapons ambitions.

"Every country in this region wants stability. North Korea is the greatest source of instability in the region," the visiting US envoy said. "Together, collectively, we have to deal with that," he added.

Yun echoed Blinken's view, saying it is now "North Korea versus the international community".

"Everything is on the table" at the UN Security Council, Blinken said about the sanctions being considered. "But (we are) also looking at this independently and in partnership with other countries."

Blinken's trip is the latest in a flurry of diplomatic exchanges focused on Northeast Asia, as the international community seeks to squeeze North Korea with fresh sanctions for its latest nuclear test on January 6.