Posted September. 30, 2017 07:38,
Updated September. 30, 2017 07:47
The United States and China were confirmed on Friday to have held a joint working-level meeting in Washington to inspect China’s implementation status of U.N. Security Council resolutions against North Korea. Also, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit China on Saturday and discuss the North’s nuclear and missile issues with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi. With Washington and Beijing taking a dual-track approach to tighten pressure on Pyongyang through cooperation both at the high level and working level, the future direction of sanctions imposed on the rouge regime is drawing renewed attention.
An official at the U.S. Department of State who is familiar with the matter, said in a phone call with the Dong-A Ilbo, “After UNSCR 2371 was passed on Aug. 5, the United States and China established a dedicated task force in Washington through mutual discussion. The team has been scrutinizing whether China is well implementing the sanctions on the North.” Also, a working-level meeting reportedly started around this Wednesday after UNSCR 2375 was adopted following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test. The team is examining China’s implementation of specific items included in UNSC sanctions such as a limit on the export of refined oil products and a ban on the import of iron ore, coal, and marine products.
“Beijing’s surprise announcement on Thursday to close all North Korean-owned business in China can also be seen as the result of the meeting. China might have felt pressure from the United States, which is closely inspecting China’s implementation of UNSC sanctions,” a diplomatic source said. The inspecting team itself was reportedly created because of Washington’s continuous pressure on Beijing. On China’s decision to shut down all North Korean firms in the country, the U.S. government immediately recognized the role played by China. Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for Asian and Pacific affairs, said at a Senate hearing that “we are working closely with China to execute this strategy (to impose sanctions on North Korea) and are clear-eyed in viewing the progress growing, if even, that China has made on this front.”