BEIJING – China did not rule out on Monday the possibility of supporting a United Nations embargo on oil exports to North Korea after Pyongyang’s hydrogen bomb test.
When asked about the proposal, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that the international community’s response to Sunday’s test by North Korea would depend on discussions between the members of the UN Security Council.
Beijing lodged “a firm protest with the person in charge at the DPRK (North Korea’s official name) embassy in China” regarding of Sunday’s test, Geng Shuang said.
Beijing strongly condemned the nuclear test by North Korea in a statement by the foreign ministry on Sunday.
Responding to information released on Monday by South Korea’s military that Pyongyang could carry out another ballistic missile launch soon, Geng urged the North Koreans to “refrain from further escalating tensions.”
The spokesperson also insisted that it was not fair to hold China responsible for the situation due to its “relentless efforts” in seeking a diplomatic solution to the dispute with North Korea.
“We can’t rely solely on China,” Geng said in response to requests by international leaders for China to do more in the crisis.
The Chinese official also defended his government’s policy of turning back North Koreans crossing the border into China, which was criticized in a report by Human Rights Watch on Monday.
“These refugees arrived in China through illegal means, they violated Chinese law. China has been dealing with these issue according to Chinese law,” according to Geng, who added that the human rights organization has “turned a blind eye to the facts, it is based on assumptions.”