Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Beijing for his first face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
A senior Trump administration official told WTOP they are about to "turn up the volume" on North Korea.
"They haven't used that influence, and so it's hard for me to be optimistic with that", he said.
The South Korean government approved the team's trip to Pyongyang for next month's 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup qualifiers in North Korea on Thursday.
"Money talks, and it is a vulnerability for that regime".
Last week, Pyongyang warned Washington that a preemptive strike was always a possibility, after the United States and South Korean military forces simulated attacks on North Korean targets during joint military drills that involve 17,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans.
Watch this episode of Insight that discusses North Korea. Another option would be pressuring China not to use North Korea labor, a major source of funding for the regime. United Nations resolutions have failed so far to deter North Korea from conducting nuclear and missile tests.
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"Or a real nuclear weapon". "And they are working on mating them to their missile delivery systems".
North Korea is capable of killing millions of Americans by launching a nuclear attack, two high ranking USA intelligence officials have claimed, arguing that the secretive republic has already mastered the technology needed to fire massive atomic bombs at the U.S. mainland. As Woolsey and Pry point out, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) could easily "deliver an atomic bomb hidden on a freighter sailing under a false flag into a US port, or hire their terrorist allies to fly a nuclear 9/11 suicide mission across the unprotected border with Mexico".
The sanctions, brought by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, prohibit US companies from dealing with the entities and also freezes any assets the entities have that are held by a USA bank.
Pyongyang is barred under United Nations resolutions from carrying out ballistic missile launches or nuclear tests. It said six North Koreans based in Vietnam, China and Russian Federation were sanctioned for their ties to North Korean banks.
Tensions have been running high between the USA and North Korea for months now. "It's about the survival of the Kim regime", the official said.
"North Korea continues to sabotage inter-Korean relations and its own economic cooperation with other countries through its repeated provocations and pursuit of nuclear weapons". Still, North Korea's repeated disregard for Chinese demands that it scale back belligerent behavior has signaled that it answers to no one beyond its leader, Kim Jong Un. According to Thae Long Ho, North Korea's former deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom and its highest ranking defector, "toppling the regime is the only way" to resolve the country's nuclear threat.
This is a situation where, in military terms, only deterrence and the continuing assumption that Kim Jong-un is rational to advise a do nothing approach.