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On DPRK, China's Li Meets US, Close to Punishing So Back to Normal Track

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, March 1 – Chinese Permanent Representative to the UN Li Baodong, negotiating a resolution on the North Korean nuclear test, met with “the US this morning in consultations, now we are close,” Li told Inner City Press midday on March 1.

  Li continued, “both sides are ready to send a strong signal against that nuclear program, they cannot walk away without any punishment.”

  Inner City Press asked if this would involve new sanctions under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

  Li replied, “New sanctions.” He paused. “This is our position. China is a country of principle. This is different thing, against the will of the international community, detrimental to peace and stability. For years we persuade them to end that program.”

  Still, Li told Inner City Press, “resolution or sanctions should be part of a comprehensive strategy to bring back that country to normal track. Engagement and diplomacy should be the primary options.”

  Li and two members of China's Mission to the UN were on the way to meet Vitaly Churkin of Russia, Security Council president for March.

  February's Council President Kim Sook of South Korea told Inner City Press of the “hot potato” of the North Korean nuclear test being dealt with during his month, or handed off to Russia. Now it's been handed over.

  Russia has scheduled for March 19 a ministerial level debate, involving Minister Sergey Lavrov, on the topic of Afghanistan. Watch this site.

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