North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho (left) is greeted by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi prior to their bilateral meeting. Pic/AFP
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho (left) is greeted by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi prior to their bilateral meeting. Pic/AFP

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged North Korea yesterday to make a "smart decision", after the United Nations imposed tough new sanctions on the isolated regime over its missile and nuclear programmes.

"It will help the DPRK make the right and smart decision," said Wang, according to a translator, after discussing the sanctions with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Hong-Yo ahead of a regional security forum in the Philippine capital Manila.

However, Wang also emphasised that negotiations were the only way to solve the issue, after the United States had left open the possibility of military action against Kim Jong Un's regime.

Wang called for a resumption of the stalled six-nation talks – hosted by China and including the United States, Japan, Russia as well as the two Koreas – aimed at curtailing the North's atomic ambitions.

"It's not that easy but it is a direction we need to work together towards," Wang said of the six-nation talks, adding, "Only dialogue and negotiation is the correct way out to address the Korean peninsula issue."