South Korea proposes rare military talks with North at Panmunjom

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

Beijing agreed in March 2016 to enforce United Nations sanctions following North Korea's test of a missile possibly capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

If a meeting takes place, it will mark the first military talks between the neighbours in three years.

"Simple accumulated data can not be used as evidence to question China's severe attitude in carrying out UN Security Council resolutions", Huang told a news briefing. "China customs have all along fully, accurately, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant Security Council resolutions".

China announced in February the suspension of coal imports from the North, striking a blow at a major source of income for the hermit state.

Seoul's move is in line with President Moon Jae-in's public ambition to encourage Pyongyang to denuclearize while pursuing dialogue along with other cooperation and aid projects that ended under Moon's conservative predecessor following the North's first of two nuclear tests past year.

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China has repeatedly said it is fully enforcing United Nations sanctions on nuclear-armed North Korea and there is nothing wrong with what it terms "normal" trade with Pyongyang, referring to areas not covered by sanctions. "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!" Trump tweeted on July 5.

China Customs said Thursday that the country's overall trade with North Korea had grown 10.5 percent in the first half of the year.

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said on Sunday that Washington would crank up pressure on China to ensure it implements sanctions over the missile test.

China stopped importing North Korean coal but total trade has risen, which prompted Trump to complain last week Beijing is failing to use its economic leverage to stop Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

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