China says sanctions alone cannot solve the North Korean nuclear issue as the UN and the US are pushing for fresh bans against Pyongyang following its recent nuclear test.
On Friday, North Korea said it had conducted a successful “nuclear warhead explosion” test, which marked the country’s fifth and biggest nuclear test so far.
Following the test, the United Nations Security Council said it would begin to prepare a new round of sanctions against Pyongyang.
On Sunday, US special envoy Sung Kim said that the US, South Korea and Japan would launch their own sanctions against the North.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday that unilateral action can only lead to a dead end.
The diplomat said the crux of the issue lies with United States not China, adding Beijing has made many efforts to uphold peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
Japan's Kyodo news agency said on Monday North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong had arrived in Beijing which has called for restraint following the nuclear test.
China’s Foreign Ministry has said it was “firmly opposed” to the test but called for the issue to be resolved through six-party talks. The long-stalled negotiations process chaired by China brings together the two Koreas, Japan, Russia and the United States.
Pyongyang dismissed the new push for sanctions as “laughable” and vowed to continue to “strengthen the national nuclear power in quality and quantity.”
North Korea has pledged to develop a robust nuclear arsenal to protect itself from the US military, which occasionally deploys nuclear-powered warships and aircraft capable of carrying atomic weapons in the region.
Pyongyang is discontent with joint military drills held on the Korean Peninsula by the South and the US as well as their plan to deploy the so-called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in the region.
The country has been hit by five sets of UN sanctions since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006.
Flooding kills 133 in North Korea: UN
The new push for fresh sanctions comes as North Korea is grappling with the aftermath of a devastating flooding.
According to a Sunday statement by the UN, some 133 people have so far been killed while 393 others remain unaccounted for after the worst downpour pounded northeastern part of the county.
Citing Pyongyang government figures, the statement said that some 107,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the area along the Tumen River, which partially marks the border with China and Russia.
It also said that over 35,500 houses have been hit by floods, with 69 percent of them completely destroyed, and 8,700 public buildings damaged.
Around 16,000 hectares (39,540 acres) of farmland have been inundated and at least 140,000 people urgently need help, it added.
State media said Sunday that people in North Hamgyong province were suffering “great hardship,” urging all soldiers and civilians to join a drive to help victims.