17:15 GMT26 February 2020
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    US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday that China is the only country that can resolve the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — McConnell also claimed China is allegedly "not terribly interested" in tackling the North Korean problem in the past because Beijing wants to see the Korean Peninsula divided.

    McConnell noted, however, that the path forward on North Korea is not clear.

    "Tough problem," McConnell said commenting on issues stemming from North Korea’s nuclear program. "Probably the only way to fix it is China." "There is only one country that has real influence with the North Koreans, and that is the Chinese," he said.

    "They assume that if it is not divided, it will be 100 percent pro-American, and that makes them uncomfortable," he stated.

    The senator claimed that China is worried about potential illegal immigration from North Korea.

    US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called on Beijing to increase economic pressure on North Korea as China is Pyongyang's biggest trade partner.

    Last week, China decided to introduce a ban on imports of some goods from North Korea in line with a UN Security Council resolution.

    The tensions around North Korea have been high over the recent months and they have escalated further after the tightening of economic sanctions against North Korea by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) earlier in August in response to July's launches of ballistic missiles by Pyongyang.

    During Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow earlier this summer, the Russian and Chinese foreign ministries issued a joint statement proposing ways to de-escalate the situation. Moscow and Beijing called on Pyongyang to stop nuclear tests and urged Washington and Seoul to refrain from conducting joint drills.

    Following the recent escalation of the Korean Peninsula, both Moscow and Beijing reiterated their call on parties involved to consider the "double freeze" plan.


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