As Exports Grow, China Defends Trade With Sanctions-Hit North Korea

As Exports Grow, China Defends Trade With Sanctions-Hit North Korea

China insists none of its current trade with Pyongyang is in violation of global sanctions.

The timing and scope of the United States action will depend heavily on how China responds to pressure for tougher steps against North Korea when United States and Chinese officials meet for a high-level economic dialogue in Washington on Wednesday, the administration sources told Reuters.

Pelosi said that she's concerned about North Korea for many reasons, but one of them is that the North could be a proliferator.

Such purchases are permitted under the sanctions and generate no revenue for nuclear development, said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang.

The number of North Koreans escaping to the South declined sharply in the first half of this year as Pyongyang strengthened controls on its border with China, officials said Wednesday.

The so-called "secondary sanctions" now being considered are a way for the United States to apply targeted economic pressure on companies in countries with ties to North Korea by denying them access to the USA market and financial system.

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.

The targets now being weighed for sanctions would come from a list of firms numbering "substantially more than 10" that Trump shared with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a Florida summit in April and which United States experts have continued to compile for review, according to one of the officials.

"Make no mistake, the Security Council's sanctions on [North Korea] can not be equated with all-encompassing economic sanctions".

Fresh US sanctions would be aimed at sending a message to Beijing of Washington's resolve to act further on its own.

The new measures would target select companies and minor financial firms but no big banks, and could be announced within a matter of weeks, according to the report.

A Bank of Dandong branch in China.

And it's possible the new line of sanctions could be another step toward even stiffer financial penalties. He referred to "tough pressures" that China faces in its relationship with North Korea.

President Donald Trump last week criticized China for its ties with North Korea's government following the launch of a test missile, saying that China's economic interests undermined its ability to challenge President Kim Jong-un's totalitarian regime.

The 68-year-old had come under fire for driving under the influence of alcohol in 1991 and for playing golf in his post-retirement years on anniversaries of such national tragedies as the sinking of the Cheonan warship and North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.

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