China’s decision in late January to back the United States in expanding UN sanctions against North Korea underscores the value of improving U.S.-China relations in President Barack Obama’s second term and opens a new avenue for more effective diplomacy to counter Pyongyang’s weapons programs, following its nuclear test in flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Topic: nuclear test
North Korea made good on its long-time threat to conduct a nuclear test when it exploded a small nuclear device of less than kiloton on Oct. 9. The test generated political shock waves and led to comprehensive sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council Oct. 14. Under tremendous pressure from the international community and China, in particular, North Korea announced Oct. 31 it would return to the Six-Party Talks.
North Korea elevated the 11-month impasse in the Six-Party Talks to a diplomatic crisis in early October by conducting a test of a small nuclear device. The U.S. responded by calling for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to impose harsh sanctions on North Korea “unlike anything that they have ever faced before.”