China is pulling its weight when it comes to enforcing U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea after the crumbling and hermetic Communist dictatorship carried out its third nuclear test, according to South Korean officials.
The assessment, reported by Yonhap independent news agency, is the first public comment by Seoul on China's effectiveness at reigning in its its north-eastern neighbor and ally, since the sanctions were imposed by the UN Security Council last month with China’s support -- sparking weeks of fist-shaking rhetoric from Pyongyang.
"As you know, [the security council] adopted U.N. Resolution 2094 in March and China joined this consensus. It is very clear to the outside world that what's important is to implement the resolution," said South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, according to Yonhap.
Analysts say the sanctions, imposed on North Korea to punish it for a third nuclear test in February, will have an impact on Pyongyang only to the extent that China co-operates in deed as well as word in enforcing them.
"Actually we hear that China already instructed their local governments to implement the resolution," Mr. Yun said. "So, I think China is playing its role rather well," the foreign minister concluded, according to Yonhap.
"So, we have to see, but nevertheless, we will continue to emphasize to our friends in China that encouraging North Korea to change and to make a right choice is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the world and China has very important role in that regard," Mr. Yun said.
China has called on all sides to avoid raising the temperature on the Korean Peninsula and recently expressed annoyance after North Korea threatened the United States and its allies South Korea and Japan with nuclear war.
"China seemed to prefer the stability of North Korea. But, these days, especially in the wake of the North's third nuclear test, China seems to be more frustrated," Mr. Yun told a conference of foreign journalists in Seoul.**Mr. Yun also warned North Korea that Beijing’s frustration would only grow as long as Pyongyang continued its saber-rattling.
"As long as North Korea continues to make provocations, North Korea will be perceived by people in China as more of a liability than an asset," Mr. Yun said.
However, the foreign minister said China's moderate shift on North Korea "does not necessarily mean their strategic stance on North Korea is changing."
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