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China paper warns N. Korea amid preparations for rocket launch

All News 11:25 January 30, 2016

BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korea should not expect China to continue to play its role as a diplomatic backer at the United Nations, a newspaper published by China's ruling Communist Party warned Saturday, amid reports that Pyongyang is preparing a rocket launch after its recent nuclear test.

Speculation has mounted that North Korea could carry out a long-range rocket launch in the coming weeks, with satellite imagery of the country's rocket site showing what were believed to be preparation activities.
In an editorial, the state-run Global Times newspaper criticized North Korea for pursuing nuclear and missile ambitions, saying, "Pyongyang should not expect China to protect it through the United Nations if it is driven into a corner."

"If North Korea moves toward the limit step by step, China will not manage the situation," the editorial read.

The U.N. Security Council resolutions ban North Korea from conducting a long-range rocket launch with ballistic missile technology.

South Korea and the United States have called on China, which keeps North Korea's economy afloat, to join in drawing up tougher U.N. sanctions against the North for its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.

Still, China's reaction to such calls has been lukewarm. Many analysts believe that China's Communist Party leadership won't exert enough leverage on North Korea because a sudden collapse of the North's regime could threaten China's own security interests.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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