Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

US prepares to sanction Chinese firms over NKorea

US prepares to sanction Chinese firms over NKorea

The United States is reportedly preparing a new round of secondary sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals that do business with North Korea, according to Reuters.

The US is also planning to impose new sanctions on Chinese firms and banks continuing to carry out deals with Pyongyang, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing top senior US officials.

The timing and scope of the USA action will depend heavily on how China responds to pressure for tougher steps against North Korea when U.S. and Chinese officials meet for a high-level economic dialogue in Washington on Wednesday, the administration sources told Reuters. With literally everything in North Korea already totally sanctioned, however, the administration appears to be set on having to go after businesses outside of North Korea, but with some business ties to them.

Washington has said talks of easing sanctions would take place only if North Korea agrees to cease weapons proliferation.

North Korea's multiple missile tests in recent months, culminating with its first-ever successful launch last week of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching Alaska, has alarmed the worldwide community and presented Trump's first major foreign policy test.

Reuters heard from two senior USA officials that are working to propose sanctions to "initially hit Chinese entities considered "low-hanging fruit, ' including smaller financial institutions and 'shell" companies linked to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs", but would also "leave larger Chinese banks untouched for now".

"My bipartisan legislation gives those that now conduct trade with North Korea a clear choice - either do business with this heinous outlaw regime or do business with the world's leading economic and military power", he added.

A Bank of Dandong branch in China. He referred to "tough pressures" that China faces in its relationship with North Korea.

"While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out", he wrote on Twitter, following the death of American hostage Otto Warmbier. "They've had numerous wars with Korea".

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