BEIJING -- The State Department's senior envoy on North Korea said Wednesday that he had discussed "all aspects of the North Korea issue" with Chinese officials, including sanctions on the North, during a one-day visit to Beijing.
"I think this is all a work in progress," the diplomat, Glyn B. Davies, said at a briefing for reporters in Beijing. "The Chinese have said to us that they will faithfully implement U.N. Security Council sanctions and are doing so. And, as I've said before, we take them at their word."
Mr. Davies arrived in Beijing on Wednesday morning after holding talks with South Korean officials in Seoul. He will depart for Tokyo on Thursday for the final leg of his visit to the region.
His trip to China appeared to be part of an effort by the United States to work closely with Beijing to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea's third nuclear test in February.
China is North Korea's most important economic supporter, providing essential food and energy supplies that keep the North Korean government afloat. China voted for Security Council sanctions after the nuclear test, and the United States has been watching to see how carefully Beijing is enforcing them.
Mr. Davies met on Wednesday with Chinese officials, including China's special representative on Korean affairs, Wu Dawei, who visited Washington several weeks ago. He also met with Zhang Yesui, China's executive vice foreign minister and a former ambassador to the United States, and Liu Jieyi, vice minister of the international department of the Chinese Central Committee.
Mr. Davies played down the idea that a decision by the Bank of China to halt transfers to North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank last week was a strong diplomatic signal by Beijing.
"I think it's a significant step that has been taken by the bank," Mr. Davies said. "I don't believe this was at the direction necessarily of the Chinese government. I think this was a decision made by the bankers at the Bank of China."
On Tuesday, one of Japan's most experienced diplomats on North Korea, Isao Iijima, visited Pyongyang, North Korea's capital. North Korean state television broadcast images of Mr. Iijima's arrival in the country. The Japanese government refused to confirm Mr. Iijima's visit.
Mr. Davies said he discussed the visit with a senior Japanese official on Wednesday but declined to comment "given the deficit of information."world
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.