According to a senior U. S. Treasury official, it is expected that in the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue set for Monday and Tuesday in Beijing, the U.S diplomats will urge China to put further pressure on North Korea to restrain its nuclear weapons program. 

After North Korea have conducted a fourth nuclear test in January, the US have proposed new economic and geopolitical sanctions that will pressure North Korea to change its nuclear policies. These new sanctions will also place China as a principal agent in cutting off North Korea from global finance.

A Chinese woman adjusts the Chinese national flag near U.S. national flags before a Strategic Dialogue. Credit: Financial Times

The U.S. proposed cutting out North Korea from global finance

The United States had proposed new sanctions to remove North Korea from global finance, on Wednesday, as designating the communist country as a “primary money laundering concern” that has to do with a U.S. strategy to penalize non-U.S. banks and financial entities if they might ever process dollar transactions for Pyongyang.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has said that the United States, as well as China, have been working on ways to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear plans after finding out the fourth nuclear test carried out in the country.

Hence, this financial blockade represents an attempt from the American government to achieve this goal, if North Korea does not have money transactions, the state could not fund its nuclear and ballistic missile project.

China: a key agent in isolating North Korea

During a visit to Seoul on Friday, the Secretary Treasury Jacob Lew remarked China as a principal agent in changing North Korea`s nuclear policies. Lew stated that China had the possibility to both create pressure and use that as a advantage that is very important and necessary as part of global efforts to isolate North Korea and make it change its mind regarding its nuclear weapons program: “China has the ability to both create pressure and use that as a leverage that is a very important part of global efforts to isolate North Korea and get North Korea to change its policies.”

When referring to China as a key agent in isolating North Korea, Lew alludes to China as the largest trading partner of Pyongyang. China provides food and fuel to the country, so, its influence may be crucial when negotiating with North Korea regarding the stoppage of developing nuclear weapons.

Lew also insisted that isolating North Korea from global economy would not be a major issue because the communist country is already isolated from the world financial system.

Source: Wall Street Journal