1 February 2023
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South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol warned of an unprecedented joint response with allies if North Korea goes ahead with a nuclear test, and urged China to help dissuade the North from pursuing banned development of nuclear weapons and missiles.

According to internnational media reports, Yoon called on China, North Korea’s closest ally, to fulfil its responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. He said not doing so would lead to an influx of military assets to the region.

“What is sure is that China has the capability to influence North Korea, and China has the responsibility to engage in the process,” Yoon said in his office. It was up to Beijing to decide whether it would exert that influence for peace and stability, he added.

North Korea’s actions were leading to increased defence spending in countries around the region, including Japan, and more deployment of US warplanes and ships, Yoon noted.

It is in China’s interest to make its “best efforts” to induce North Korea to denuclearise, he said.

Abdul Gh Lone

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