China backing of sanctions hides Beijing’s bigger play in North Korea crisis

Picture Credit: North Korea News Agency

A bigger game is at play over North Korea, and China is the purveyor of a new strategy that will allow Beijing to push the North Korean regime in Pyongyang to feel the intensity of the international pressure against its attitude. 

Last week, the Security Council voted fresh and more severe sanctions against the North Koreans for their continuous rejection of the international community’s pressure to stop its long range missile tests. 

But the fact that China supported the new harsher sanctions against the so-called rogue nation is not a policy change by Beijing, instead it is a warning to Pyongyang. 

“China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has reiterated that sanctions are not the ultimate goal in dealing with the regime in Pyongyang and that North Korea’s nuclear crisis can only be solved by diplomatic dialogue,” said Cong Peiying, PhD, Deputy Director of Institute of Politics and International Relations, China Youth University of Political Studies to WorldFutureTv

The deputy director said all parties should keep their calm and “not take provocative action which creates more tensions,” said Peiying, adding that: “Six party talks – which is a better solution – should restart as soon as possible.” 

Pyongyang did not reject the possibility of talks, but said it is not going to start the talks saying it will never stop its missile tests. The North Koreans are said to be testing long range missiles in a bid to realise a long time dream of hitting the US hard on its own soil with missiles. 

These missiles can be fitted with nuclear war heads. When asked whether Beijing has used the UN Security Council to just to gain leverage over North Korea with vote on sanctions, Peiying said Beijing’s vote in favour of the sanctions is an expression of China’s own stand on North Korea. 

“It wants the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to realize it is time to change his risky policies, which may incur regional wars.  That will be bad for all the parties in N. Korea nuclear crisis and it can be a disaster,” said the analyst. 

If North Korea continues to be a troublemaker, ignoring other countries’ interest, it should be sanctioned and more pressure should be borne on Pyongyang.

Furthermore, the UN Security Council’s resolution has legal significance and the way this is playing out, means Beijing wants North Korea to realize the rigid situation it is in and to go back to peaceful diplomatic dialogue. 

North Korea has protested vehemently against the new sanctions, downplaying them in the process saying it will continue with its missile tests.

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