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US official ties Chinese firm to missile-linked North Korea sale

WASHINGTON--The United States believes a Chinese firm sold North Korea components for a missile transporter showcased in a military parade last weekend and will press Beijing to tighten enforcement of a U.N. ban on such military sales, a U.S. official said on Saturday.

The Obama administration suspects the Chinese manufacturer sold chassis for the vehicle but may have believed it was for civilian purposes, which means it would not be an intentional violation of U.N. sanctions, the senior official said.

But such a sale — coming to light amid tensions over a failed North Korean rocket launch this month — raises concerns in Washington about China's effort to abide by the prohibition on weapons sales to Pyongyang.

The New York Times first reported on conclusions U.S. officials have drawn about the origin of parts of the transporter launcher system — essentially a large truck on top of which a missile is mounted — displayed in a parade in Pyongyang on Sunday. The newspaper said the administration suspected the Chinese manufacturer involved in the transaction was Hubei Sanjiang.

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