A senior U.S. defense official has accused China of harming efforts to enforce sanctions against North Korea, calling for Beijing's active and thorough enforcement. 

Randall Schriver, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, made the call at a forum hosted by the military in Washington on Thursday.

Schriver said during a panel discussion at the event that the U.S. is pressing China hard on North Korea. 

He said the U.S. is trying to enforce sanctions, and the primary method by which North Korea is attempting to evade them are through illicit, illegal ship-to-ship transfers, primarily coal going out and oil going in, adding much of this activity has moved into Chinese territorial waters.

The U.S. official said that the U.S.' ability to disrupt and interfere with sanctions busting and keep pressure on North Korea is now being harmed by China's unwillingness to clamp down on such behavior.

[Photo : YONHAP News]