The UN Security Council also directed its sanctions committee to consider adding new names to its blacklist of firms and individuals who will be hit with asset freezes and travel bans for helping North Korea skirt UN sanctions.
It was not clear if Hubei Sanjiang Space Wanshan Special Vehicle Co was a potential candidate for a UN blacklisting.
The Security Council, its North Korea sanctions committee and a UN panel of experts that monitor sanctions violations have been looking into the possibility of Chinese breaches of the North Korea sanctions regime, UN envoys say.
However, even if Chinese firms continue to help North Korea — with or without the blessing of Beijing — the council is unlikely to punish China in any way because it is one of the five permanent Security Council members and can therefore block any punitive action against it.
Beijing has long acted as North Korea’s protector on the 15-nation Security Council, though it has twice supported sanctions resolutions to demonstrate its annoyance with Pyongyang over its nuclear tests.
Meanwhile, North Korea has almost completed preparations for a third nuclear test and has the capacity to carry it out “soon,” a source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing said.
“Soon. Preparations are almost complete,” the source said when asked whether North Korea was planning to undertake a nuclear test.
The source has correctly predicted events in the past, such as North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006 days before it took place.