US asks China to act on North Korea

The US has urged China to look at additional steps to pressure North Korea.

Updated: Jul 22, 2010, 12:12 PM IST

Washington: The United States on Wednesday called for China to look at additional steps to pressure North Korea as it urged nations to follow its lead in imposing new sanctions.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who announced the new measures against Pyongyang during a visit to South Korea, plans to meet with China`s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Thursday during a regional meeting in Vietnam.

"We will be consulting with China (on) what we think (are) additional steps that it can take," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

"The secretary will have a chance to explain to Foreign Minister Yang what we have in mind here and the way forward not only on issues related to North Korea but also issues related to Iran," Crowley said.

Crowley praised China`s response to North Korea, saying that it has "aggressively implemented" last year`s Security Council resolutions that tightened sanctions aimed at Pyongyang`s military programme.

But a number of US lawmakers and pundits have accused China of going easy on North Korea as it finds the status quo to be in its best interest. Pyongyang counts on China as its primary political and economic supporter.

Crowley said that Robert Einhorn, the US envoy on non-proliferation, would travel in early August to encourage enhancing enforcement of North Korea sanctions.

"We would like to see other countries also take the same kinds of national steps that we`ve announced," Crowley said.

"We hope (greater sanctions) have an impact on the core leadership which will, I think, change their calculations about how they engage with the United States and other countries," he said.

Crowley said the countries on Einhorn`s trip would be specified later.

PTI