New Zealand’s Governor-General Jerry Mateparae (R) and China’s President Xi Jinping inspect honour guards during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.
North Korea yesterday rejected the idea that it could follow Iran’s lead in making a deal with Western powers over its nuclear programme, reports said.
A foreign ministry spokesman said it would be “illogical” to compare North Korea’s situation with that of Iran, state-run media in Pyongyang reported.
Tehran signed a deal a week ago to enable closer international monitoring of its nuclear activities, state-run media in Pyongyang reported.
The deal with the US, EU and other major powers aims to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, while North Korea has already proven its nuclear capability with three nuclear tests between 2006 and 2013.
“The nuclear deterrence of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) is not a plaything to be put on the negotiating table as it is the essential means to protect its sovereignty and vital rights from the US nuclear threat,” the ministry said.
International talks on North Korea’s nuclear programme have been stalled since 2009
lChinese president Xi Jinping told US president Barack Obama that China would work with the United States and other parties to ensure the implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement, China’s foreign ministry said yesterday.
Last week’s deal, backed by the UN security council on Monday, lifts sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations in return for Iran’s agreement to long-term curbs on a nuclear programme the West has suspected aimed to build a nuclear bomb.
The agreement sends a positive message to the world that the international community can resolve major disputes through talks, the foreign ministry cited Xi as saying in a telephone call with Obama.
China and the United States worked closely together during the talks and this is good for their relationship, Xi added.
“China will continue to have constructive cooperation with all parties, including the United States, to ensure the implementation of the comprehensive agreement and the UN Security Council decision,” Xi said.
China and Iran have close diplomatic, economic, trade and energy ties, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had been active in pushing both Washington and Tehran to reach agreement on the nuclear issue.
But China, one of the countries involved in the talks with Iran, had long railed against unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and Europe, though it has supported UN measures, and had denounced threats of force.
While China and the US bicker about everything from human rights and trade to China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, they also work closely together on issues of global concern, such as Iran’s nuclear programme.
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