China Urges Caution after New US Sanctions on N. Korea
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - China called Monday for "relevant parties" to act with caution and avoid actions that could escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the United States slapped new sanctions on North Korea for its alleged cyberattack on Sony Pictures.
"Relevant parties should act with caution, avoid taking actions that might further escalate tensions and jointly safeguard the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula," China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters, when asked about the new US sanctions on North Korea.
"At present, the Korean Peninsula is enjoying a relatively stable circumstance. And this situation does not come easy," Hua said.
Three North Korean entities and 10 officials were named in the new sanctions, including the Reconnaissance General Bureau, Pyongyang's primary intelligence organization, accused of arms trading and other activities banned under UN resolutions, according to the US Treasury Department.
The FBI has determined that North Korea was behind the hacking of Sony, although some independent cyber security experts have questioned this finding. The North has expressed fury at Sony over its comedy film "The Interview," which depicts a plot to assassinate its leader Kim Jong-un.
China, North Korea's last-remaining patron, has appeared reluctant to follow calls by the US to cooperate in taking action against the Pyongyang for the hacking. North Korea's Internet is connected with the outside world via a Chinese Internet service provider, China Unicom.
North Korea has denied any responsibility for the hacking, although it as a "righteous deed."
The decision by the US to add new sanctions was met with sharp criticism from North Korea, which blasted Washington for "groundlessly" provoking hostility toward the North, Yonhap reported.
An unnamed spokesman at the North's foreign ministry said, "The persistent and unilateral action taken by the White House to slap sanctions against the DPRK (North Korea) patently proves that it is still not away from inveterate repugnancy and hostility toward the DPRK."