US Senators push for sanctions against those doing business with North Korea

Kim Jong Un attends concert hailing North Korean missile launch

Pelosi said that she's concerned about North Korea for many reasons, but one of them is that the North could be a proliferator.

Word of the sanctions plan comes as US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley seeks to overcome resistance from China and Russian Federation to a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing stiffer global sanctions on Pyongyang.

"Trade between China and North Korea grew nearly 40% in the first quarter", Trump tweeted the day after North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

The growth in bilateral trade "should not be used as basis for questioning China's solemn attitude towards the implementation of the Security Council's resolutions", Huang Songping, a spokesman for Chinese Customs, told reporters in Beijing.

While preparations for fresh sanctions are moving forward, tangible new steps by China could prompt Washington to put the measures on hold, the US sources said.

While China's imports from North Korea dropped 13.2 percent to $880 million in the period from January to June, exports to North Korea rose 29.1 percent to $1.67 billion, he said.

Both countries pledged to work in unison to stop Kim Jong Un's nuclear missile projects.

The legislation gives those that now conduct trade with North Korea a clear choice - either do business with this heinous outlaw regime or do business with the world's leading economic and military power, he said.

Trump has complained that trade increased between the two despite calling on his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to use the nation's unique diplomatic and economic clout over North Korea as leverage.

The decline follows China's decision in February to ban all imports of North Korean coal. Previous releases of Chinese customs data showed that China bought the same amount of iron ore in the first five months of this year as it did in all of last year.

"So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!" he added.

The so-called "secondary sanctions" now being considered are a way for the United States to apply targeted economic pressure on companies in countries with ties to North Korea by denying them access to the US market and financial system.

But many North Korea analysts suggest China will not take any action that could seriously undermine the regime because Beijing's top priority is stability.

The timing and scope of the US action will depend heavily on how China responds to pressure for tougher steps against North Korea when USA and Chinese officials meet for a high-level economic dialogue in Washington on Wednesday, the administration sources told Reuters.

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