Davies: Chinese sanctions against North Korea a work-in-progress

While the U.S. respects Chinese decisions related to North Korea, the way China is enforcing sanctions on North Korea remains a work-in-progress, a State Department official said on Wednesday.

Glyn Davies, the State Department's special representative for North Korea Policy, held a press briefing in Beijing during his visit to China. When asked if the State Department was happy with the way China is enforcing its sanctions on North Korea, Davies said he thinks that China is conveying messages to North Korea in its own way.

"I think this is all a work in progress," Davies said. "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. I think China is, in its own fashion, seeking to convey messages to Pyongyang, so that they understand the importance that 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 said that there is a large amount of evidence that the Chinese are imposing U.N. Security Council resolutions for sanctions against North Korea.

"I think that there is a great deal of evidence that the Chinese are moving to implement the sanctions," Davies said. "This is quite apart from the issue of unilateral sanctions. Of course the United States has implemented a succession of unilateral sanctions as well. But I don't think it's useful for me to get into characterizing the extent to which we judge China having implemented sanctions. The point is they have indicated they intend to continue implementing sanctions and we do take them at their word."

Davies declined to comment on Japan's recent visit to North Korea until after his visit to Tokyo, which was planned for later in the week.