MANILA, Philippines — A global pressure campaign on North Korea propelled by new U.N. sanctions received a boost Sunday from China, the North’s economic lifeline, as Beijing called on its neighbor to halt its missile and nuclear tests.
President Donald Trump’s administration cautiously embraced China’s apparent cooperation, while putting it on notice that the U.S. would be watching closely to ensure it didn’t ease up on North Korea if and when the world’s attention is diverted elsewhere. But there were no signs the U.S. would acquiesce to China’s call for a quick return to negotiations with North Korea.
The diplomatic wrangling sought to build on the sweeping new sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council a day earlier — the strongest in a generation, the U.S. said. As diplomats gathered in the Philippines for an annual regional meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Trump was cheering the move. He cited the “very big financial impact” of the sanctions against North Korea and noted that both China and Russia had joined in the unanimous vote.
On Sunday, after a late-night conversation with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump tweeted: “Just completed call with President Moon of South Korea. Very happy and impressed with 15-0 United Nations vote on North Korea sanctions.”
“It was a good outcome,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in Manila.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, sitting across the table from him, added: “It was a very, very good outcome.”
For the U.S., it was a long-awaited sign of progress for Trump’s strategy of trying to enlist Beijing’s help to squeeze North Korea…
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