‘Balanced’ UN res on NK: China

BEIJING: China called on Thursday for an "appropriate and balanced" UN resolution against North Korea for its recent nuclear test and missile launches after a draft was submitted to the Security Council. Skip related content

"We always believe that the Security Council should pass an appropriate and balanced resolution which is conducive to promoting the de-nuclearisation on the Korean peninsula," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.

He added the resolution should help "safeguard peace and stability in northeast Asia," and said China would continue to make efforts in that regard.

Major powers at the United Nations, including China, agreed Wednesday on a draft resolution that includes expanded sanctions on North Korea, such as tougher cargo inspections and a tighter arms embargo.

The compromise draft was worked out following two weeks of bargaining by envoys of seven nations -- the five permanent members of the Security Council, and Japan and South Korea -- and has been presented to other council members.

It is widely expected to be endorsed at a vote by the end of the week.

China is North Korea's main ally, and has always favoured cautious diplomacy with Pyongyang, wary of any moves that could push the regime to collapse and potentially send millions of refugees streaming over its border.

But analysts say it is finding it harder to defend the isolated regime as it assumes a greater role in world affairs, particularly after Pyongyang's recent test, missile launches and renunciation of a 1953 truce that ended the Korean War.

Qin also said that South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator had spoken to his counterpart Wu Dawei in Beijing Tuesday, and the two agreed to push towards resuming six-nation talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

The North has abandoned the talks, that also include South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Russia.