China Holds Key to Tighter UN Sanctions on N. Korea
A week has passed since North Korea went ahead with its third nuclear test and the international community has vowed to impose broader punitive measures on Pyongyang.
"In line with this commitment and the gravity of this violation, the members of the Security Council will begin work immediately on appropriate measures in a Security Council resolution."
But the UN Security Council has yet to act.
What's holding it back?
China, Pyongyang's economic benefactor and closest ally, has yet to make a decision on whether to work with the international community or shelter its isolated friend once more.
Experts say that for any real change to happen in the North, Beijing must join in placing unilateral penalties on its ally.
Although most experts aren't expecting any immediate or dramatic changes in China's stance, some have noticed that China's patience with the North is wearing thin, especially after Pyongyang ignored its appeals and went ahead with the recent nuclear test.
And as Beijing mulls its options, the South Korean government on Tuesday called on China for a shift in its stance.
" We are asking China to constructively assume a responsible position in the situation as a permanent member of the UN Security Council."
"Experts say that should China decide to penalize the North this time around, it will definitely speed up UN discussions on the subject.
And Seoul's Foreign Ministry says it's putting its full efforts toward resolving the impasse by the end of the month, which is when South Korea's tenure as the chair of the UN Security Council ends.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News."
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