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China says sanctions against North Korea could be eased

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shunag

Beijing, June 12 (UITV/IANS) - China on Tuesday said that sanctions against Pyongyang could be eased if it complies with the UN resolution, after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un pledged to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea is reeling under the crippling UN economic sanctions for firing off ballistic missiles and conducting nuclear tests. Pyongyang's defiance last year had frustrated its sole ally Beijing, which gave a go-ahead to the punishing sanctions against the reclusive state.

"The Security Council's resolutions also have relevant stipulations. It is said that in accordance with the compliance of the DPRK side and the development of the situation, the Security Council will consider relieving or lifting sanctions on the DPRK," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shunag said.

"Sanctions are not an end. The Security Council should support the current efforts and contribute to the political settlement of the Koran Peninsula issue," Geng added.

He said Beijing had implemented the sanctions adopted by the Security Council "comprehensively, accurately and strictly".

Earlier in the day, Trump and Kim had a historic meeting in Singapore during which they pledged for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

The animosity between North Korea and the US dates back to 1950 when Pyongyang invaded the South, prompting Washington to fight by the side of Seoul.

The North was backed by China and Russia in the Korean War until an armistice was put in place in 1953.

North Korea said it built up its arsenal because it feared invasion by Washington and Seoul. China has been Pyongyang's ally since then.

Beijing has a strategic interest in keeping the Peninsula calm as it fears that war between Pyongyang and Washington would trigger an influx of North Korean refugees into its border.