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6 Aug, 2017 05:04

Trump ‘appreciates Russian & Chinese cooperation’ on North Korea sanctions

Trump ‘appreciates Russian & Chinese cooperation’ on North Korea sanctions

The White House has welcomed "Russia's and China's cooperation” with the US against North Korea after the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution that introduces new economic sanctions in response to Pyongyang's latest ballistic missile tests.

“The president appreciates China’s and Russia’s cooperation in securing passage of this resolution,” the White House said in a statement. “[Donald Trump] will continue working with allies and partners to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to end its threatening and destabilizing behavior.”

Russia and China backed the US-drafted resolution which bans exports of coal, iron, lead ore and seafood from North Korea.

Moscow and Beijing had previously blocked the passage of a similar resolution, insisting that the Chinese-Russian “double freezing” initiative was the sensible solution for the region. The proposal, rejected by Washington,” proposes that North Korea stops its ballistic missile and nuclear activities while the US and its allies halt its war games in the region.

Ahead of the vote, Russia’s UN envoy, Vassily Nebenzia, called on Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear and missile programs and to return to a non-proliferation regime.

Apart from calling for dialogue, the Russian and Chinese envoys reiterated the need to scrap America's THAAD deployment in South Korea, and urged Seoul and Washington to halt military drills in the peninsula.

New sanctions were a “necessary response to North Korea’s constant violation of the resolutions of the UN Security Council, and the goal is to effectively block the DPRK’s nuclear development process,” China’s foreign minister Wang Yi told reporters in Manila Sunday.

“Sanctions are needed but not the ultimate goal,” Wang said, according to Bloomberg. “The purpose is to pull the peninsula nuclear issue back to the negotiating table, and to seek a final solution to realize the peninsula denuclearization and long-term stability through negotiations.”

‘We are not your enemy’: Tillerson says US seeks dialogue with Pyongyang, not regime change

In July, North Korea conducted what it claimed were two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in violation of previous UN Security Council resolutions. Russia's defense ministry’s data, however, indicated that both launches were that of an intermediate-range ballistic missile.