- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2012

China appears to be flouting U.N. sanctions against North Korea, regional analysts say, as the U.N. Security Council weighs new measures against the Marxist government after its failed rocket launch last week.

The sanctions “have closed the front door; but as long as China leaves the back door open, they won’t work,” said Scott Snyder of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The sanctions, imposed by the Security Council in 2006 and 2009 after North Korean rocket and nuclear weapons tests, ban the export of any major armaments or arms-related technology to the isolated communist regime. The aim, publicly endorsed by China at the time, was to curtail North Korea’s progress on developing nuclear and ballistic weapons in violation of international law.

Yet pictures of North Korean missiles on display at the huge military parade over the weekend showed them carried on Chinese-made or -designed transporters, according to missile technology analysts.

A North Korean trading company covered by the sanctions also is openly doing business in China, lawmakers were told this week.

The charges against the Tangun Trading Corp., which the United Nations sanctioned for buying technology for North Korea’s defense research and development programs, were made Wednesday at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

A Japanese photojournalist has taken pictures showing Tangun offices open for business in Shenyang, a Chinese town near the North Korean border, Michael Green, a former National Security Council official, told the committee.

No U.S. pressure

The United States has not appeared to be pressuring China to enforce the ban since U.S. officials visited Beijing in 2009 after the United Nations adopted the latest sanctions.

“I’m aware of no current activity by the U.S. government to ensure that China is enforcing the sanctions,” he said.

The U.S. mission to the United Nations did not respond to calls and e-mails requesting comment for this article.

Other foreign policy scholars said at the hearing that China is blocking enforcement activity by a special committee that the Security Council set up to monitor the sanctions.

The job of the Chinese official on that committee “is to keep [it] from adopting anything that might be critical of China,” Mr. Snyder said.

The Chinese government denies breaking sanctions and insists it enforces the embargo rigorously.

“We strictly abide by and implement all U.N. Security Council resolutions, including the sanctions on North Korea,” said Geng Shuang, the spokesman at the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

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