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>> Frustrated that China has not done more to reign in North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, Reuters has learned that the Trump administration could impose new sanctions on Chinese banks within weeks. Reuters Washington correspondent Matt Spetalnick.>> The sanctions under consideration at this point would initially target smaller Chinese banks.
And what they consider to be shell or front companies that do business with Pyongyang in violation of US and UN sanctions. The idea is that these companies need to feel some kind of pain. A small bank, for example, that conducts trade with North Korea, would find itself suddenly cut off from the US financial system.
>> Pyongyang's military ambitions are front and center after the hermit nation test fired an intercontinental ballistic missile experts say could deliver a warhead to Alaska and parts of America's Pacific seaboard. President Trump initially praised Chinese president, Xi Jinping as a partner in confronting North Korea. But has since expressed disappointment in what he sees as Beijing's reluctance to press Pyongyang.
Last month, Washington imposed sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for allegedly helping North Korea, angering Beijing. Sources tell Reuters the timing and scope of the new sanctions will depend on how China responds to a renewed American push for tougher steps against North Korea. That could come next week when US and Chinese officials meet for high level economic talks in Washington.
>> What could happen here is that the Chinese yield some ground and make new promises to take tougher action against North Korea. If that is the case, there's a chance that the United States could decide to put these sanctions on hold and not take action until it gives them a little more time to show that they're cooperating.
>> An official telling Reuters the President is losing patience with China.