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North Korea sanctions-skirting network could be defeated by targeting China firms

15 Juin 2017

Lu said he has "consistently" welcomed and supported greater dialogue and contact between North Korea and the us - as countries directly involved in the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue - to increase mutual understanding and trust.

Tillerson said the White House may need to impose "secondary sanctions" on nations who engage in business with North Korea. He said if China does not take action against them, the USA will act on its own.

However, Mr Tillerson did not name any countries.

He said: "We are in a stage where we are moving into this next effort of 'Are we going to have to, in effect, start taking secondary sanctions because countries we have provided information to have not, or are unwilling, or don't have the ability to do that?'"

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"They have taken steps, visible steps that we can confirm", he said.

Donald Trump has made North Korea his top foreign policy issue, and General Joseph Dunford told Congress on June 12 that Pyongyang was on "a relentless path to field a nuclear [missile] that can reach the United States".

The United States has indicated the Treasury Department could impose unilateral sanctions on some of these entities before the end of the summer if China does not act, the Wall Street Journal said in its Tuesday edition, quoting senior USA officials.

The Trump administration has sought to increase pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and missile activities. China's support is essential for the resolution of the North Korean problem as it provides 90 percent of North Korean imports, from crude oil and fuels to food.