China says opposes any unilateral sanctions against North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (left) looking at a section of a missile warhead in an undisclosed location in North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (left) looking at a section of a missile warhead in an undisclosed location in North Korea. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China opposes any unilateral sanctions on North Korea, the Foreign Ministry said, after the United States imposed sweeping new curbs on the isolated country in retaliation for its nuclear and rocket tests.

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the remarks at a regular briefing on Thursday (March 17).

The US measures, which vastly expanded the US blockade over Pyongyang, prohibit exportation of goods from the US to North Korea. US officials had previously believed a blanket trade ban would be ineffective without a stronger commitment from China, North Korea's largest trading partner.

North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Jan 6, and a Feb 7 rocket launch that the United States and its allies said employed banned ballistic missile technology. China signed on to new UN sanctions against North Korea earlier this month.