U.S. urges China to end 'business as usual' with North Korea

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged China to end "business as usual" with North Korea after the isolated nation conducted its fourth nuclear test.

See Full Article

Kerry told reporters on Thursday that he spoke by phone with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He said that China's approach to North Korea had failed.

Kerry rejected a reporter's suggestion that the Obama administration had neglected the North Korean threat as it focused on curbing Iran's nuclear program. He said there had been constant consultations on North Korea, including on his first trip to China after he became the top U.S. diplomat in 2013.

"Now China had a particular approach that it wanted to make and we agreed and respected to give them the space to be able to implement that, but today in my conversation with the Chinese I made it very clear, that has not worked and we cannot continue business as usual," Kerry said, without elaborating.

The UN Security Council has pledged new sanctions against North Korea after its purported hydrogen bomb test on Wednesday. China has a pivotal position as it is a permanent council member and the North's main trading partner. Fraternal relations between Beijing and Pyongyang have become strained in recent years, but China has been reluctant to impose economic restrictions that could destabilize its wayward neighbour and cause turmoil on its border.

Kerry said he and Wang agreed to work very closely together on steps "to address our increasing concerns about that nuclear test."

Meanwhile, pressure was mounting in Washington for congressional action to punish North Korea. The House of Representatives will vote as early as next week on legislation imposing new U.S. sanctions.

Leader of the Democratic minority, Nancy Pelosi of California, promised Thursday there will be strong bipartisan support for the legislation tabled by the top Republican and Democrat lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee that would target access to hard currency and other goods and step up inspections of North Korean cargo.

Similar legislation passed the House two years ago but did not advance in the Senate.

"The easy solution here is to go after the one place where they (North Korea) get the hard currency," said Rep. Ed Royce, the Republican committee chair. He said that the 2005 blacklisting of Banco Delta Asia, a bank based in the Chinese territory of Macau that held North Korean government funds, had restricted then-leader Kim Jong Il's ability to pay his generals.

"It worked for a while in the past until we lifted those sanctions under the thought that North Korea might come back to the table. Of course they cheated on that agreement, so we made the wrong move," he told CNN, calling for a similar approach on sanctions again to restrict the North's ability to fund its weapons programs.

Sanctioning banks in China that handle North Korean transactions could upset Beijing. U.S. officials have also said there are few targets available because of the North's isolation from the international financial system.

-----

Associated Press writer Erica Werner contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • White House press secretary: Round 2 LIVE

    World News CBC News
    Tamara Lovett, charged with negligence in death of 7-year-old son, to learn fate Source
  • SNL's Katie Rich slammed for Barron Trump tweet

    World News Toronto Sun
    An outraged Twitter mob is calling on NBC to sack Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich following an egregious attack on Donald Trump’s youngest son, Barron. Rich targeted the 10-year-old in a “disgusting” tweet on Inauguration Day, writing: “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter. Source
  • Mom accused of sex with five teens at daughter’s party

    World News Toronto Sun
    A Florida mother’s hormone-charged hijinks have landed her in hot water after she was accused of having sex with five teen boys at her daughter’s party. Jaime Ayer, 40, of Bradenton was originally charged with three counts of unlawful sexual activity of certain minors but now faces additional charges. Source
  • Trump moves to pull U.S. out of TPP trade deal [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump moved to pull the United States out of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact Monday, fulfilling a campaign promise as he began his first full week in office. “Great thing for the American worker that we just did,” Trump said as he signed a notice in the Oval Office. Source
  • Barbara Bush discharged from hospital, George set to be moved from ICU

    World News Toronto Sun
    HOUSTON — Former first lady Barbara Bush was discharged from a hospital Monday while former President George H.W. Bush is expected to be moved from the hospital’s intensive care unit soon. The 92-year-old former president was struggling to breathe when he was admitted to the Houston Methodist Hospital Jan. Source
  • Residents pick up pieces after tornadoes leave 19 dead [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    ATLANTA — A weekend of deadly weather in the Southeast killed 15 people and injured dozens more, authorities said Sunday, while residents along the Georgia-Florida line were bracing for more intense, fast-moving storms — including unusually strong “long track” twisters. Source
  • Owners of Toronto's illegal pot shops not reporting violent robberies: Police

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Police say marijuana dispensaries operating illegally in Toronto have been the target of violent, armed robberies but their business owners and employees often don't report them to authorities. Toronto police Supt. Bryce Evans says there have been 17 robberies of so-called pot shops since last June and eight of them were not reported to police. Source
  • New trade relationship with U.S. may be outside the NAFTA framework: MacNaughton

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Canada may step outside the three-way North American Free Trade Agreement in new talks with the protectionist Trump administration, says Canada’s ambassador to the United States. The federal government has already had preliminary discussions with members of President Donald Trump’s transition team and more talks are in the offing, David MacNaughton says. Source
  • Man bites ear off another man during argument about Trump

    World News CTV News
    PITTSBURGH -- Police say a man bit the ear off another man in Pittsburgh as they argued about President Donald Trump. The 30-year-old victim was bitten at his apartment at around 6:45 a.m. Monday in the city's East Liberty neighbourhood after a verbal argument turned physical. Source
  • Georgia court dismisses car crash lawsuit against Snapchat

    World News CTV News
    GRIFFIN, Ga. -- A lawsuit claiming Snapchat's "speed filter" tempted a woman to drive too fast before she crashed into a couple's car has been dismissed by a judge who says the Communications Decency Act provides the social media company with immunity. Source