President Barack Obama's top national security adviser Susan Rice said on Monday that she expects China will support new international sanctions on North Korea for its recent rocket launches.

"I think it unlikely that China wants to be seen by the international community as the protector of North Korea given its recent outrageous behavior," Rice told reporters at a briefing.

"Given that, I expect that they will indeed come on board with significant new sanctions and we're working toward that end," Rice said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton)