Trump admin considering new sanctions on China over North Korea ties

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 14, 2017

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.

The text calls for kicking out from the U.S. banking system the businesses and financial institutions involved in a significant amount of trade in goods and services with the communist state, barring all North Korean-made products from entering the USA market, and sanctioning all firms engaged in labor exports.

"During a dinner President Trump hosted with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan in Hamburg, the leaders agreed on a common strategy to confront the threat of North Korea and ensure the security of Northeast Asia and the United States", they added.

"Trade related to the people's livelihood in the North Korea, especially those that embody humanitarian principles, should not be affected by sanctions".

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. Despite that track record, the Trump White House displayed an initial optimism, presenting North Korea as an easily solvable problem with the help of Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom Trump had a friendly summit back in April.

But Beijing is also eager to avoid riling Trump.

The US Congress is pushing for a bill meant to block companies with North Korea ties from using the American financial system amid growing calls for secondary sanctions against entities in China and elsewhere that may assist with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. But it is especially anxious about the collapse of the regime with which it shares a border, and fears both an influx of millions of North Korean refugees and the possibility of a unified Korea with USA troops again at the Yalu River. He referred to "tough pressures" that China faces in its relationship with North Korea. "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try", Trump said in tweet last week.

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.

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

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