US at UN table on China importing North Korean coal, ore

The Obama administration says it’s negotiating at the U.N. Security Council to address a provision in U.N. sanctions that allows China to import coal and iron ore from North Korea.

Senators at a hearing are questioning the effectiveness of U.S. efforts to get China — the North’s main trading partner — to use its economic leverage against the North.

North Korea has stepped up its missile tests — and this month conducted its largest nuclear test explosion in spite of tough U.N. and U.S. penalties.

Daniel Fried — the State Department’s coordinator for sanctions policy — says Washington is investigating a number of companies around the world over sanctions evasion.

On Monday, the Justice Department charged a China-based company and four of its executives with conspiring to evade sanctions.