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(LEAD) N. Korea must pay 'necessary price' for nuke test, rocket launch: China FM

2016/02/17 15:40

(ATTN: ADDS quotes in paras 5-9)

BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- North Korea must pay a "necessary price" under a new U.N. resolution against the North's fourth nuclear test and launch of a long-range rocket this year, China's foreign minister said Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters after talks with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China supports a new U.N. resolution that makes North Korea "pay the necessary price."

   Wang described North Korea's nuclear test and rocket launch as "serious" violations of the existing U.N. resolutions against Pyongyang.

However, Wang said a U.N. resolution against North Korea must include a condition to resume long-stalled six-party talks on the North's nuclear weapons program.

"North Korea's nuclear test and satellite launch constituted a serious move against Security Council resolutions," Wang said.

"So, North Korea needs to pay the necessary price, and the purpose of ongoing discussions at the Security Council of adopting a new resolution is to stop North Korea from going any further down the path of developing nuclear weapons," Wang said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a joint press conference with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. (Wu Hong/Pool Photo via AP)Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a joint press conference with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. (Wu Hong/Pool Photo via AP) Wang said Iran's nuclear issue was resolved because there were decade-long negotiations between Iran and world powers.

However, North Korea's nuclear issue is at a standstill because the six-party talks have "broken down for eight years," Wang said.

"So, this is why I believe that a new draft U.N. Security Council resolution is important to include discussions on the resumption of the talks," Wang said.

U.N. Security Council members remain divided over how to punish North Korea for its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and Feb. 7 rocket launch, with China, one of five veto-wielding council members, reluctant to put crippling sanctions on North Korea.

Winning China's cooperation is the key to enforcing stronger sanctions against North Korea's nuclear and missile programs because China is the North's economic lifeline.

But Beijing has been reluctant to put crippling sanctions on Pyongyang because a sudden collapse of the regime could spark a refugee crisis at its border and lead to a pro-U.S., democratic Korea on its doorstep, analysts say.

kdh@yna.co.kr

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