China will pay the biggest price from the new United Nations sanctions against North Korea because of its close economic relationship with the country but will always enforce the resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
The United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday that could slash its $3 billion annual export revenue by a third.
Speaking at a regional security forum in Manila on Monday, Wang said the new resolution showed China and the international community's opposition to North Korea's continued missile tests, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Owing to China's traditional economic ties with North Korea, it will mainly be China paying the price for implementing the resolution," the statement cited Wang as saying.
"But in order to protect the international non-proliferation system and regional peace and stability, China will as before fully and strictly properly implement the entire contents of the relevant resolution."
China has repeatedly said it is committed to enforcing increasingly tough U.N. resolutions on North Korea, though it has also said what it terms "normal" trade should not be affected, and neither should ordinary North Koreans be affected.
The latest U.N. resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. It also prohibits countries from increasing the numbers of North Korean labourers currently working abroad, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures.