WASHINGTON— Beijing is unlikely to accept demands from the United States and South Korea to push North Korea to stop conducting missile and nuclear weapons tests and defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula because of its strained ties with Washington, according to experts.
Washington and Seoul have been urging China to use its influence over North Korea to prevent the regime from conducting any further tests in response to the country’s record number of missile launches this year and what would be its seventh nuclear test, which has been anticipated throughout this year. The major trading partner and longtime ally of North Korea is China.
Chinese Special Representative on Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming met with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim on December 7 to address North Korea’s “increasingly disruptive and unconstructive behavior,” according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
During the virtual discussion with Liu, Kim “emphasized the necessity for all U.N. member states to fulfill their commitments and effectively execute the sanctions regime,” according to Price on December 8. China expects that all parties “handle each other’s concerns in a balanced way, notably the DPRK’s genuine worries,” according to Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the next day.