US Warns China It Will Target Firms for Illicit North Korea Business

Lesley Wroughton and Yeganeh Torbati report for Reuters:

Image result for us china north koreaThe United States has warned China it will blacklist Chinese companies and banks that do illicit business with North Korea if Beijing fails to enforce U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang, according to senior State Department officials.

The tougher U.S. approach reflects growing impatience with China and a view that it has not strictly enforced existing sanctions to help curb Pyongyang’s nuclear program, which a U.S. policy of both sanctions and diplomacy has failed to dent.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave the message to Chinese officials in meetings in Beijing in October after North Korea conducted its fifth and largest nuclear test, the officials said.

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the importance of choking off financial flows to Pyongyang during a meeting with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi in New York on Nov. 1.

In response to the U.S. warning, Chinese officials said they believe pressure alone on North Korea will not work, and that they oppose any U.S. action that would hurt Chinese companies, officials said.

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