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China has enough influence to change N. Korea's behavior: Kirby

02:40 December 06, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- China has the influence to change the way North Korea behaves but is not doing what it can to help stop North Korea from continuing its provocative actions, a U.S. National Security Council (NSC) official said Monday.

John Kirby, NSC coordinator for strategic communications, reiterated that Beijing is also neglecting its responsibility as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to stop North Korean provocations.

Referring to President Joe Biden's bilateral summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month in Bali, Kirby said, "We know Beijing can have in Pyongyang, and we would like to see them use that influence appropriately, not only as a bilateral neighbor and trading partner with North Korea but also as a member of the U.N. Security Council."

"And the bottom line is we haven't seen them use that influence we know they can apply to Pyongyang with those kinds of desired effects. Quite the contrary," he said in a virtual press briefing.

His remarks come after China, together with Russia, again blocked a U.S.-led proposed resolution at the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) on Nov. 21 to condemn North Korea's recent missile tests.

The latest UNSC meeting marked the 10th of its kind this year to be held on North Korea and ended without any tangible outcome due to opposition from Beijing and Moscow, both permanent members of the Security Council and friendly neighbors of Pyongyang.

North Korea fired a record 63 ballistic missiles this year, compared with the previous annual record of 25.

Kirby urged China to pitch in and help prevent North Korea from further escalating tension.

"Just over the last week or so, we had yet more missile launches from North Korea. So we believe that there's still a lot more work to be done and we would like to see China pitch into that work," he said.





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