US prepares to sanction Chinese firms over NKorea

US prepares to sanction Chinese firms over NKorea

US prepares to sanction Chinese firms over NKorea

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

Trump's most recent comments dampened his initial optimism following a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April.

The White House took swift action after seeing that a strategy of persuasion wasn't working - approving a long-delayed arms sales package to Taiwan, sending in a pair of freedom of navigation operations to challenge Beijing's territorial claims in the heavily contested South China Sea, and imposing an initial round of secondary sanctions, which targeted a few individuals and companies with financial ties to Pyongyang.

"The president is losing patience with China", one official told Reuters.

A Chinese government official said Thursday that China-North Korea trade was worth $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, up about 10% over the same period past year.

He also addressed reports of North Korea launching missiles in May, asserting that North Korea had shown the Chinese "great disrespect" and that China was "trying hard" to get them to stop. China will continue to strictly and earnestly implement the North Korea-related Security Council resolution in its entirety.

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Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to Washington, said on Monday that secondary sanctions were "not acceptable".

The new measures would target Chinese small-and-medium sized financial institutions and shell companies suspected of "funneling cash" into Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

The company in question is a Dandong, China-based trading firm.

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.

US President Donald Trump has been openly expressing disappointment over China's lukewarm stance in curbing its economic trade with North Korea, which reportedly grew nearly 40 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, raising the possibility for broader secondary sanctions. "They've had numerous wars with Korea".

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