A US envoy was in Beijing on Thursday to discuss with Chinese officials the U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea for a nuclear test conducted in May.
Philip Goldberg, a former ambassador who is in charge of coordinating the implementation of sanctions against the North, will meet with representatives from the Foreign Ministry and other relevant ministries, the US Embassy said.
China is Pyongyang's closest ally and largest source of fuel and food aid, and its cooperation in enforcing sanctions against its neighbor is seen as crucial to increasing pressure meant to push North Korea back to nuclear disarmament talks that have stalled.
A new UN resolution seeks to stop North Korea's trading of banned weapons by requiring UN members to request inspections of ships suspected of carrying prohibited cargo.
A North Korean ship came under intense scrutiny for more than a week by the US Navy as it was detected heading toward Myanmar with suspicious cargo aboard. On Sunday, the Kang Nam 1 then turned around and headed back north, US intelligence officials said Tuesday. It was unclear what the ship's turnaround means, nor what prompted it.
The ship was the first vessel monitored under the UN sanctions.
Pyongyang has said that any interception of its ships would be considered a declaration of war.