The U.S. will ask China and Southeast Asian countries to cooperate as it tightens sanctions against North Korea, a senior diplomatic source in Washington said. The U.S. announced stricter sanctions last week in response to the North's sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in March.

To impose effective financial sanctions, the U.S. will single out agencies involved in the North's nuclear proliferation activities, and advise banks or organizations in third countries with which the North has dealings to help, the source said.

"If those banks won't help, Washington will tell American financial institutions to halt dealings with them."

The exact procedure remains to be finalized. "At the moment, a draft executive decree is being drawn up with regard to the sanctions against the North, and lawyers are conducting a review," the source added.

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