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China, Russia still firmly against N.K. nukes: diplomat

All News 17:14 July 17, 2016

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- China and Russia demonstrated their unwavering opposition to North Korea's nuclear armament by jointly adopting a strong statement against Pyongyang at a recent global summit, a South Korean diplomat said Sunday.

The foreign ministry official told reporters on background that Saturday's chair's statement from the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Mongolia was carefully coordinated among the more than 50 member nations, including China and Russia.

The statement condemned North Korea's nuclear and missile programs "in the strongest terms" and called for the thorough implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions against the North.

"This shows that there is no change in China and Russia's resolve not to tolerate North Korea's nuclear program and implement Security Council resolutions toward that end," the official said.

There has been concern over a possible rift in the international sanctions regime against Pyongyang after Beijing and Moscow strongly protested the South Korea-U.S. decision to deploy an advanced anti-missile defense system on South Korean soil to counter North Korea's missile and nuclear threats.

Last week's arbitration ruling, which rejected China's claims to the South China Sea, fueled the concerns with the dispute being cast as a power struggle between Washington and Beijing.

"The media have raised concerns over a new Cold War with South Korea, the U.S and Japan on the one hand and North Korea, China and Russia on the other, but it's not going in that direction," the official said. "It's in the interests of China and Russia to stop the North's nuclear development."

The official said he hopes the ASEM statement sent a clear message to Pyongyang that the international community stands united against its nuclear and missile ambitions.

hague@yna.co.kr
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