US hopeful of strong Chinese action

The United States is optimistic China will take strong action against North Korea by increasing scrutiny of financial transactions with Pyongyang that could contravene fresh UN sanctions, a senior US official has said.

David Cohen, the US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said he was confident Chinese banks and regulators would pay attention to the new UN Security Council resolution.

Stopping illicit money flows toNorth Koreais a key part of the sanctions imposed in response toPyongyang’s February 12 nuclear test.China is North Korea’s sole diplomatic ally and its major trading partner, although it negotiated the latest sanctions withWashingtonand has said it wants them implemented.

‘We’ve heard nothing but the strong intention to implement the Security Council resolution, and we fully expect to work very cooperatively with the Chinese in the robust implementation of that resolution,’ Cohen told reporters in Beijing.

China has become increasingly frustrated with North Korea, Chinese experts have said. Besides the latest nuclear test,North Koreatested a long-range missile in December and has stepped up its rhetoric against the United States and South Korea.

‘From the perspective ofChina, we’ll always attach importance t North Korea, and we also have a lot of respect for them (North Koreans),’ said Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University in Beijing.

‘But China has its own interests and the third nuclear test has damaged them. Therefore, Chinahas to show its dissatisfaction.’