China says new US sanctions 'won't help' N. Korea situation

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BEIJING China said yesterday that new US sanctions targeting Chinese firms linked to North Korea "will not help" cooperation with Beijing in the nuclear crisis.

The United States Treasury Department on Tuesday slapped punitive measures on a series of Chinese and Russian individuals and companies, accusing them of supporting North Korea's nuclear programme and trying to evade US sanctions.

President Donald Trump has pressed China to do more to persuade its ally North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

"The US action will not help the solution of the problem, as well as the mutual trust and cooperation with China," foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing. "We urge the US side to stop this wrongdoing and correct it."

At the same time, Ms Hua said the "extremely tense" situation on the Korean Peninsula "has shown some signs of abating" thanks to the concerted efforts of various parties, though it "remains highly complex and sensitive".

She made the remark hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signalled that talks with the North might be possible "in the near future". - AFP

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