The top U.S. envoy on North Korea said China has indicated it will continue to implement U.N. sanctions against North Korea.
Glyn Davies made the remark after meeting in Beijing Wednesday with his Chinese counterpart, Wu Dawei, and other officials. He said China is seeking to convey messages to North Korea so it understands the importance China places on denuclearization.
"I think this is all a work in progress. The Chinese have said to us that they will faithfully implement U.N. Security Council sanctions, and are doing so. And as I've said before, we take them at their word," he said.
Davies went on to say, "China is in its own fashion seeking to convey messages to Pyongyang so that they understand the importance China attaches to denuclearization. But beyond that I don't want to comment, because I don't work for the Chinese government, don't represent them and I'd like them to speak for themselves."
Davies also described as a "significant step" China's decision last week to halt business with North Korea's main foreign exchange bank.
The state-run bank of China said it is closing all transactions and shutting down its account with North Korea's foreign trade bank.
"I've spoken about the Bank of China issue before so that's on the record," he said. "We really talked about all aspects of the North Korea issue to include touching on this question of sanctions. But as I've already said on the Bank of China, I think it's a significant step that has been taken by the [Chinese] bank."
The move is China's first public action against Pyongyang following its international condemnation of North Korea's latest round of provocative rhetoric.
In related news, a U.N. panel said financial and trade sanctions and an arms embargo have significantly hindered North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
In a report seen by the Reuters news agency on Tuesday, the panel said the sanctions have not stopped the North from building missiles and nuclear weapons. But it said the sanctions have cut off funds that would have gone into expanding these weapons programs.
The panel is also calling on U.N. members to watch out for North Korean attempts to buy hardware that is key to building nuclear weapons.