The U.S. will ask China to abide by United Nations sanctions against North Korea and shut off the flow of money that could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction, a State Department official said.
Secretary of State John Kerry, on his first trip to Asia as the top U.S. diplomat, is scheduled to meet with leaders in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo as the region confronts threats of war by North Korea. Two U.S. officials briefed reporters accompanying Kerry on the condition of not being named.
The U.S. wants to convince China, North Korea’s main ally, that it’s in China’s economic and political interests to reverse a long-standing practice of looking the other way regarding banned cross-border trade with its Communist neighbor, an administration official said.
Kerry will also urge China to toughen its message to leaders in Pyongyang and will seek information about conversations between China and North Korea as well as what kind of leverage the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, has on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the State Department official said.
There will be no quid pro quo in U.S.-China discussions and the U.S. won’t soften its criticism of China’s human-rights record and assertiveness over disputed areas in the South China Sea in exchange for greater cooperation on North Korea, the official said.