China suggested the United Nations Security Council suspend or lift sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday just hours after President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed to work to denuclearize the peninsula, according to a report.
Geng Shuang, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, said the penalties imposed by the Security Council should be adjusted if the regime abides by UN resolutions and makes progress in diplomatic negotiations, the Associated Press reported.
“China has consistently held that sanctions are not the goal in themselves,” Geng said at a daily briefing. “The Security Council’s actions should support and conform to the efforts of current diplomatic talks towards denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, and promote a political solution for the peninsula.”
China shares a border with North Korea and is the country’s largest trading partner.
Beijing’s participation in the penalties is a key to keeping them in play against Kim’s regime.
Trump has credited his “maximum pressure” campaign of crippling trade and economic sanctions for bringing Kim to the negotiating table and vowed to keep them in place until North Korea complies with its promises.
“The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor,” Trump said in Singapore after his summit with Kim.
Geng dismissed accusations from Trump that Beijing has been easing up on the sanctions, saying it is following UN sanctions “comprehensively, accurately and strictly.”