WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stressed to China the importance of continuing to enforce sanctions on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons following the warning of Beijing's relapse.
The Department The Department said Pompeo had spoken with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday, discussing efforts to "achieve our common goal of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."
Pompeo reiterated that North Korea will have a brilliant future "denuclearizing and emphasizing" the continuing importance of the full enforcement of all relevant UN Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea, "said the department in a statement.
Es said that this was particularly important in preventing North Korea's illegal export of coal and the import of refined oil through United Nations-prohibited ship-to-ship transfers.
US President Donald Trump, on the June 12 held an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to persuade him to abandon a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States, urged Beijing's continued sanctions efforts last week and said the border between China and North Korea now a bit weaker. "
US officials are worried about it The recent international involvement with Pyongyang could lead to countries easing pressure on sanctions.
Pompeo said at a US Senate hearing that he had seen "modest" setbacks by North Korea's neighbor and China's main trading partner, whom Trump had courted over the nuclear issue, despite the threat of a major trade war with Beijing.
"We have observed that China does not enforce control of its border areas as much as it did six or twelve months ago," Pompeo said.
In April, the UN Security Council blacklisted dozens of ships and shipping companies over North Korea's oil and coal smuggling, including five in China.
On Wednesday, Japanese news agency Kyodo announced that Tokyo had informed the US government of a suspected ship-to-ship incident on June 21 involving a North Korean tanker in the East China Sea.
Pompeo also spoke with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Thursday to discuss the next steps towards engagement with North Korea, the Foreign Ministry said. They said they had agreed to maintain pressure until North Korea denuclearises.
On Thursday, the Financial Times quoted US officials as saying that Pompeo plans to travel to North Korea next week, but the State Department has refused to confirm it.
Pompeo said last week that he is likely to return to North Korea "too long ago" to try to substantiate the pledges made at the Trump Kim meeting.
Trump has been criticized by security analysts for making a joint statement at his summit meeting with Kim that contained no details of how or when North Korea, which has rejected unilateral disarmament, could relinquish its nuclear weapons.
Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Tom Brown