Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

US prepares to sanction Chinese firms over NKorea

US prepares to sanction Chinese firms over NKorea

There are expectations in North Korea that with the development of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile program, future negotiations with the United States will culminate in the easing of sanctions, according to the report.

"We will continue to strictly and earnestly implement the North Korea-related Security Council resolution in its entirety", said Geng at a regular news briefing.

She added that all of the demonstrations of strength are really a roadshow for the North to sell some very unsafe technology to a rogue nation or lone wolf.

President Donald Trump and his top aides have signalled growing impatience with China over North Korea, especially since Pyongyang last week test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts say could put all of Alaska in range for the first time.

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But coal imports slumped by 75%, suggesting Beijing is gradually choking off North Korea's biggest source of foreign currency. He has been urging the UN Security Council to impose a "complete economic embargo" requiring all member nations to cut off all finance and trade with the North, with a few limited humanitarian exceptions.

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the Korean Peninsula is one of the most heavily fortified places in the world, and nearly all defectors to the South go to China first - where they still risk being repatriated if caught - and then on to a third country before traveling to the South.

President Trump has repeatedly criticized China over its trade with North Korea, calling on it to exert more pressure on Kim Jong-un's regime.

Last week, Trump cited a Chinese Customs agency statement that two-way trade with North Korea rose 36.8 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter.

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China Customs said Thursday that the country's overall trade with North Korea had grown 10.5 percent in the first half of the year.

The latest potential measures could also be posturing prior to next week's meetings, given Trump's tweet following his meeting with Xi at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany over the weekend.

Flags of United States and China are placed for a meeting in Beijing on June 30.

Whether the new penalties are put in place will depend on how a high-level economic meeting between US and Chinese officials in Washington next week goes and on how China responds to USA pressure on Pyongyang, according to Reuters.

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