Schiff eyes secondary sanctions on countries doing business with N. Korea

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCarter Page held high-level meetings with pro-Putin Hungarian government: report Schiff blasts Trump over UCLA tweet: ‘How can someone in such a big office be so small?’ Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday said the latest North Korean nuclear test could warrant imposing sanctions on countries doing business with Pyongyang. 

"I think we're going to have to start imposing secondary sanctions, that is, other countries doing business with North Korea," Schiff, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union." 

"We ought to be aiming for a cessation of these programs in the first instance, and then hope that will lead to a negotiation where we can role back these programs," he continued. 

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The Democrat also said the recent developments also increased the need for China, which is an economic partner with North Korea, to increase pressure on Pyongyang. 

"It certainly underscores the heightened importance of getting China to work with us much more aggressively to cut off trade to North Korea," Schiff said. 

President Trump has also criticized China's role in the North Korean crisis, saying the past U.S. has been too soft on China when it did not act on Pyongyang. 

"I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk," Trump tweeted in July. "We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!"

However, Trump has not yet imposed secondary sanctions on Pyongyang's business partners, but instead has mulled terminating a U.S. free trade deal with North Korea's neighbor and adversary, South Korea. 

Tensions could rise between Washington and Seoul if Trump moves ahead with dissolving the deal, as Pyongyang strengthens its arms program.