By Max Bibeau | NORTH KOREA
China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, claims he has had a discussion with North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho. Yi told Yong-ho to stop performing provocative missile tests and to remain calm.
Yi spoke on Sunday’s UN meeting in the Philippines, where he agreed that sanctions on North Korea were a necessary step to take.
The sanctions were passed unanimously by the United Nations Security Council. The sanctions banned North Korean exports such as coal, valued at over $1 billion annually. These sanctions will do massive damage to the country, given their overall exports were valued at only $3 billion in 2016. The sanctions also severely limit foreign investment in the country.
These sanctions, designed by the US, are aimed at pressuring North Korea to return to negotiations over their nuclear program. US Ambassador Nikki Haley also hopes that “these sanctions will cut deep, and in doing so will give the North Korean leadership a taste of the deprivations they have chosen to inflict on the North Korean people.”
North Korea’s missile program costs hundreds of millions of dollars annually, spending money that starving North Korean citizens desperately need. As Haley specifies, “revenues aren’t going toward feeding its people. Instead, the North Korean regime is literally starving its people and enslaving them in mines and factories in order to fund these illegal missile programs.”
Yi urged both South Korea and the United States to not increase tensions further, arguing that the situation was at a “critical point,” but was not yet at a point of no return.
The sanctions come as a result of North Korean missile tests in late July, in which the country claims they are finally able to hit United States targets with weapons of mass destruction. Some experts doubt this claim, however.
No North Korean response has yet been seen, however in the past, North Korea has denied giving up their weapons program, citing worries of safety as their reasoning.