>> The United States warning China it will blacklist its firms that do business with North Korea if Beijing fails to enforce tough UN sanctions against Pyongyang. Reuters learning US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered the message to Beijing in October after North Korea conducted its 5th and largest nuclear test.
State Department Reporter Yeganeh Torbati has the exclusive.>> US officials have warned Chinese officials that if Chinese companies continue to do banned business with North Korea or on behalf of North Korea, the United States reserves the right and will in fact be forced to sanction those companies.>> The top new stand reflects deepening frustration over China's failure to strictly observe sanctions meant to rein in leader Kim Jong-un's nuclear ambitions.
>> You know, China has signed on to both the most recent UN resolution against North Korea and also previous ones. But it has liberally interpreted certain clauses in those resolutions and sanctions to basically make them into quite larger loopholes that will allow it to continue business with North Korea.
And in fact, even though previous sanctions have targeted North Korea's coal sector, Chinese purchases of North Korean coal have increased this year compared to last year.>> China's response, pressure alone on North Korea will not work.>> One reason why China doesn't want sanctions to be so strictly enforced on North Korea might be because it doesn't want the North Korean government to collapse.
And it fears that if all revenue is cut off to the North Korean government then that is actually a possibility. It doesn't want North Korean refugees to stream into China and it wants to keep a buffer between itself and South Korea where there are thousands of US troops stationed.
>> The US move likely to ratchet up tensions between the powers already at odds over China's claims in the South China Sea and a US anti-missile battery going to South Korea. With President Obama on his way out, any major steps would be left to President-elect Donald Trump, a fierce critic of China throughout the campaign.
The UN Security Council including China voted unanimously this week to slap tougher sanctions on North Korea, cutting its revenue from exports like giant statues by a quarter.