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Xi vows to fully enforce U.N. sanctions on N. Korea

All Headlines 13:26 April 01, 2016

By Kim Kwang-tae

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Yonhap) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to fully enforce the toughest-ever U.N. sanctions resolution on North Korea, South Korea's presidential office said, in the latest pressure from the North's last major ally and economic benefactor.

China has voted in favor of the resolution meant to punish North Korea for its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and a long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7, and vowed to implement it, a departure from its previous reluctance to put pressure on the North out of the concern that strong sanctions could destabilize North Korea.

"Xi said China will completely, fully enforce the U.N. Security Council resolution," Cheong Wa Dae, the South Korea's presidential office, said late Thursday of the summit held on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

Xi made the pledge after Park called for the faithful enforcement of the resolution to make North Korea change its behavior.

Park also warned that North Korea will face grave consequences if Pyongyang carries out another provocation, in apparent reference to North Korea's possible nuclear test.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said his country will soon conduct "a nuclear warhead explosion test and a test-fire of several kinds of ballistic rockets able to carry nuclear warheads" in defiance of the U.N. sanctions.

South Korea believes the North could conduct a fifth nuclear test at any time.

Park and Xi agreed to bolster strategic communications for the advancement of North Korea's nuclear issue and peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders also discussed the possible deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, Kim Kyou-hyun, senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs, told reporters.

The two leaders "expressed their basic opinions" on the issue and they agreed to "continue communications in the future," Kim said without elaborating.

China has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the possible deployment of the U.S. missile defense system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea as the radar system could also keep close watch over China.

Seoul and Washington have dismissed such concerns, saying the U.S. missile shield is defensive in nature and focuses on North Korea's missile activities.

THAAD is primarily meant to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles using a hit-to-kill system.

In March, Seoul and Washington officially launched a joint working group to discuss the possible deployment of the missile shield in South Korea amid the threats posed by North Korea's missile program.

entropy@yna.co.kr
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