China suggests sanctions relief for N Korea after U.S. summit

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In 2015, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the US, UK, France, China and Russian Federation - were joined by Germany and Iran in agreeing to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal, which allowed inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Association to audit Iran's nuclear facilities and ensure compliance with uranium enrichment restrictions in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

President Trump said Tuesday there was a method to his "fire and fury" madness with North Korea.

China is North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic backer, despite its anger at Pyongyang's saber rattling. Geng told reporters in Beijing that the Security Council's sanctions against North Korea could be suspended or lifted in accordance with the North's actions. He said: "We believe the Security Council should make efforts to support the diplomatic efforts at the present time".

Wang said in a statement earlier that China welcomed and supported the summit between the United States and North Korean leaders and hoped the two countries could reach a basic consensus on achieving denuclearisation.

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Geng said Beijing would continue to fulfil its worldwide obligations and play a constructive role on the Korean peninsula.

Beijing has key strategic interests when it comes to North Korea, and has long feared that a collapse of its isolated neighbor could push waves of refugees into northeastern China, or that nuclear war on the Korean peninsula could contaminate swathes of the country. The agreement sought an end to North Korea's fledgling nuclear program with a goal of complete denuclearization, just as in Trump's deal.

North Korea also serves as a valuable buffer state between China and USA forces in South Korea. In South Africa, various stakeholders say the US President could learn a thing or two from the world's first country to denuclearise. "China will continue to play our constructive role", he added.

After the Central Intelligence Agency informed Congress North Korea had built a centrifuge facility, another major step in the nuclear process, Pyongyang formally withdrew from the non-proliferation agreement in January 2003. One of North Korea's stated goals is to establish peace with the US and ultimately see the removal of more than 30,000 USA troops from the Korean Peninsula.

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