China and Russia have reacted positively to the historic summit between the American and North Korean leaders, with Beijing suggesting sanctions relief for Pyongyang in light of the new diplomatic developments.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed a joint statement at the end of their historic meeting in Singapore on Tuesday, promising a new relationship between the nations and pledging to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and Trump, in exchange, agreed to “provide security guarantees” to North Korea.
Speaking following the summit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang suggested that sanctions relief could be considered for North Korea with the new agreements.
“The UN Security Council resolutions that have been passed say that if North Korea respects and acts in accordance with the resolutions, then sanction measures can be adjusted, including to pause or remove the relevant sanctions,” he told a daily news briefing.
Geng also reaffirmed that Beijing has always abode by all UN resolutions on North Korea, stressing China’s “obligation to play its deserved role in the progress of shifting to a non-nuclear peninsula.”
“China has consistently held that sanctions are not the goal in themselves. The Security Council’s actions should support and conform to the efforts of current diplomatic talks towards denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, and promote a political solution for the peninsula,” he added.
Additionally, Russia gave a positive assessment of the deal between the US and North Korean leaders, noting, however, that “the devil is in the detail.”
Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying that Moscow is ready to assist in implementing the agreement and hopes settling the nuclear crisis will unblock normal economic cooperation.
Elsewhere, South Korean President Moon Jae-in hailed the outcome of the summit, calling it a historic event that will end what he called the last remaining conflict of the Cold War and write a new history of peace and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula, Yonhap reported.
“I congratulate and welcome the success of the historic North Korea-US summit with a burning heart,” Moon said in a statement read by Cheong Wa-dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom on his behalf.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also welcomed the document signed by North Korea’s leader as a “first step” towards denuclearization.
“Through this US-North Korea summit, Chairman Kim Jong-un’s intent for complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was confirmed in writing,” Abe told reporters,” said Abe. “I support this as a first step to the comprehensive resolution of issues concerning North Korea.”