The European Union, United States, Japan and South Korea have proposed a list of about 40 North Korean companies that they want the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions upon, in retaliation for Pyongyang's recent satellite launch.
According to a report from Reuters, the Security Council’s sanctions committee is awaiting word from China regarding which North Korean firms, if any, Beijing will permit to be blacklisted.
On Monday, the EU, U.S., Japan and South Korea submitted a list of North Korean individuals to the committee for possible sanctions.
The failed rocket launch by Pyongyang on April 13 elicited widespread condemnation, leading to a call for increased sanctions on the poor isolated Communist state. The UN had already hit North Korea with sanctions following nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
Eight North Korean companies and five individuals are currently on the UN sanctions list.
It looks as if China won't stand in the way of an agreement [on expanding the sanctions list] though they won't necessarily accept adding all the proposed individuals and entities, a diplomat told Reuters.
Sanctions, if approved by the Security Council, would mean asset freezes and bans on foreign travel.
Separately, amid rising concerns that North Korea is planning yet another nuclear test, South Korea's top nuclear envoy, Lim Sung-nam, will go to China this week to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Wu Dawei, for a two-day visit.
A spokesman for Seoul’s Foreign Ministry, Han Hye-jin, told the Yonhap news agency that South Korea is closely watching activities at North Korea’s nuclear site, but added there's no sign of any imminent nuclear test.
During the visit, Lim and Chinese officials plan to assess the situation after North Korea's long-range missile launch and discuss future actions, Han said.