China has opposed calls by the United States and its allies to impose fresh sanctions on 40 North Korean companies, following Pyongyang's recent bid to launch a satellite.
The US, European Union, South Korea and Japan submitted a list of 40 North Korean firms to the UN Security Council’s sanctions committee, asking the panel to put more stringent sanctions on the North Korean entities, their envoys said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the committee, including all 15 Security Council members, received China’s initial objection to the tough sanctions. Beijing says it would only consent to ban two North Korean firms.
"The US, Europeans, Japan and ROK (South Korea) have together produced a list of around 40 entities to be designated by the 1718 Committee," a senior diplomat at the UN said, adding, "The challenge remains as usual squarely on PRC (China)."
The report also revealed that the US was urging China to allow more North Korean firms to be added to the UN list of banned North Korean firms.
The new wave of North Korea sanctions came after the UN Security Council condemned the country’s failed rocket launch, and ordered the North Korea sanction panel, "1718 committee,” to tighten the existing sanctions.
This is while Pyongyang rejected the condemnation, saying the rocket launch was aimed at putting a satellite into orbit for peaceful research objectives, and mark the centenary of the birth of its founding leader Kim Il-Sung.