"We want to get the Iranian influence out because that is really a problem. We don't want a situation where outside trade and other investment ties with North Korea permit them to continue working on these programs to build the world's most bad weapons", said the official.
"If something happens, if this continues down the path that we're going on, I can tell you we're not just going to sit down and say 'Oh, they did it again, '" she said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet Donald Trump on April 6 and 7 at the USA president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for their first face-to-face encounter. The North conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests previous year, deepening concern in Washington that it could soon develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
The article goes on to warn that North Korea's KMS-3 and KMS-4 satellites have been orbiting the United States "on trajectories consistent with surprise EMP attack". The rehearsals refer to Foal Eagle and Key Resolve against North Korean provocations that began on March 1 for a two-month run in the South.
North Korea must be stopped on its path toward being able to threaten the United States with nuclear attack, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis says, as the USA imposes more sanctions on North Koreans for their links to the country's weapons programs.
Seoul has granted rival North Korea's women's ice hockey team permission to play in the South next week, the Unification Ministry said on Wednesday, a positive sign ahead of next year's Winter Olympics.
The sanctions prohibit United States entities from doing business with the designated individuals and companies, with the aim of locking them out of the global financial system.More news: EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. recalled for potential defect
Trump and Xi will meet next week at the United States leader's golf resort in Florida, the first face-to-face meeting between the heads of the world's two greatest powers.
Ambassador Nikki Haley said President Donald Trump would raise the issue next week at his first summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
But Haley emphasized that at the Florida meeting "the most important conversation will be how we're going to be dealing with the nonproliferation of North Korea".
Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the Trump administration to take additional steps to deny the North the hard currency that enables the country to advance its missile and nuclear programs.
"Considering various possibilities, we are closely tracking and monitoring the North's moves in cooperation with the United States", Army Col. Roh Jae-cheon, a spokesman for the the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Yonhap News Agency.
Former defence secretary Ash Carter, however, said he doubted that Beijing will co-operate.
Trump said while he believes in alliances and partnerships, they "have not always worked out very well" for the U.S.