SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-se called for China's new foreign minister Wang Yi to work diligently over enforcing the latest U.N. sanctions against North Korea, Seoul's foreign ministry said Wednesday.
Yun made the remarks during a 40-minute telephone conversation with Wang late Tuesday, and the two ministers agreed to work together to address the North's nuclear issue in a peaceful manner, the ministry said in a statement.
The U.N. Security Council imposed tougher sanctions on North Korea to punish it for conducting its third nuclear test last month and analysts say China's cooperation would be a key to ensuring that the measures have an impact on Pyongyang.
The March 7 U.N. sanctions toughen financial restrictions on North Korean personnel and entities and requires mandatory inspections of North Korean cargo suspected of carrying illicit weapons materials. Although China has voted for U.N. sanctions against North Korea in the past, questions linger over how closely it imposes sanctions against its military ally.
During the telephone conservation with Wang, Yun took note of China's role in passing the new round of sanctions, but stressed that "Cooperation is needed between the two nations in the process of implementing the sanctions," according to the statement.
"In order to curb North Korea's additional provocations and activate efforts for denuclearization, there is the need for cooperation among relevant nations including South Korea, the U.S. and China," Yun said.
Yun also called for China to cooperate "to make North Korea a responsible member of the international community."
North Korea has ratcheted up its bellicose rhetoric after the U.N. vote, threatening a preemptive nuclear attack on the U.S. and South Korea.
In a show of force, the U.S. flew training missions of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over South Korea on Tuesday. North Korea responded with another warning that it will take military action should the U.S. fly the B-52 bombers again over the Korean Peninsula.
Meanwhile, Yun told a parliamentary session on Wednesday that his government is keeping close tabs on North Korea amid the North's escalating threats, but no unusual movements have been detected so far.
"Though no specific signs of provocations have been detected, the government is thoroughly prepared to cope with various provocations including another nuclear test, long-range missile launch and limited military provocation near the Yellow Sea border," Yun told lawmakers.
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