China rebuffed U.S. demands to cut off oil exports to North Korea as a way to dissuade Kim Jong-Un’s regime from pursuing nuclear weapons, saying instead it was American leaders who needed to tone down their rhetoric and come to the negotiating table. China will implement all United Nations Security Council resolutions, “no more, no less,” Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the U.S., told reporters at a briefing in Washington when asked if China would cut oil shipments. Any further steps would need to be worked out with the agreement of the entire UN Security Council, he said. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson demanded Thursday that China use its role as the main exporter of oil to North Korea to force Kim to abandon his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Hours earlier, North Korea had launched a missile over Japan, the latest in a series of actions that have rattled the international community and prompted a new round of U.S.-led sanctions.
Cui said the U.S., not China, needed to take more responsibility for the issue. “They cannot just leave the issue to China alone, and honestly I think the United States should be doing more, much more than now, so that there is real effective international cooperation on this issue, Cui said. Asked what specifically the U.S. should do, Cui said “they should refrain from issuing more threats” and “do more to find an effective way to resume dialogue and negotiation.”