Washington hopes strong North Korea sanctions effective Eds: Adds quotes on China

Washington hopes strong North Korea sanctions effective Eds: Adds quotes on China

The United States hopes new sanctions Washington is to impose on North Korea will be strong enough to stop the Stalinist state from further provocation, a senior State Department adviser said Monday, DPA reported.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last month announced new financial sanctions targeting North Korea's leadership and their assets. The sanctions, a reaction of the sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on Pyongyang, aim at blocking financing of North Korean nuclear and missile programmes.

The Stalinist state rejects any responsibility for the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan.

"Our hope is that these measures will be effective, that they will provide strong incentives for North Korea's leaders to abide by their international obligations not to pursue any provocative activities and to fulfill completely their commitments to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," said Robert Einhorn, special adviser for non-proliferation and arms control.

Einhorn travelled to the region to discuss with the governments in Seoul and Tokyo sanctions against North Korea and Iran - which is also suspected of pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons programme.

The two countries' nuclear programmes were a threat for world peace, the Yonhap news agency quoted Einhorn as saying.

"One means of addressing these challenges is to increase the pressures felt by these two governments so that they recognize that it's in the best interest of their countries to meet their international obligations and forsake nuclear weapons," he said.

The cooperation of China, Pyongyang's last remaining major ally, was "critical" to isolate North Korea from the international financial system, Einhorn said.

Beijing still provides North Korea with food and energy aid.

"We will approach the government of that country and say, 'Look at this activity, you need to shut it down,'" he said. "We will go out diplomatically and seek their cooperation. And their cooperation will be very important."

"We want China to be a responsible stakeholder in the international system. That means cooperating with UN Security Council resolutions, and it means not backfilling, not taking advantage of the responsible self restraint of other countries," Einhorn added. dpa dg im Author: Dirk Godder

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