FOSTER KLUG Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON The Bush administration, citing new inspections by the Chinese of trucks bound for North Korea, said today it expected China would do its part in enforcing a U.N. resolution punishing its reclusive ally for its nuclear program. The United States is pressing China for tough action against North Korea ahead of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s trip this week to Asia.
R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, pointed to the fact that Chinese customs inspectors had begun inspecting cargo trucks bound for North Korea in the border city of Dandong. Japan and Australia, meanwhile, announced Monday that they might take measures beyond the new U.N. sanctions against North Korea for that country’s reported nuclear test. “We have indications this morning the Chinese are beginning to apply this to their very long land border” with North Korea, Burns said on CBS’ “The Early Show.” “We also have announcements from Japan and Australia. I spoke to both governments this morning. They are both implementing this.” He said there will be “enormous pressure on China to live up to their responsibility” in enforcing United Nations punishment of its ally, North Korea. “We are all banking on that.” White House press secretary Tony Snow said President Bush had not personally been making any calls Monday on the matter. Snow urged patience before judging China’s commitment to the inspections. “The parties have committed to fulfilling its conditions,” Snow said. “Let’s see what happens, all right?” Rice travels to the region Tuesday for a Series of talks aimed at easing tensions among countries already on edge from the North’s claimed nuclear test. China, which voted Saturday for the U.N. penalties, has balked at cargo inspections to prevent trafficking of certain banned weapons and technology. “I’m quite certain that China is going to live up to its responsibilities,” Rice said Sunday, adding she was willing to have “conversations” during her trip on how best to enforce the resolution. The United States’ U.N. ambassador portrayed North Korea’s detonation last week as a public humiliation for China, which shares a long border with North Korea and is the North’s chief ally and supplier of crucial shipments of food and energy aid.