US official to Asia for NK, Iran sanctions talks

US Treasury sanctions chief David Cohen will travel to Asia next week to discuss the implementation of sanctions against North Korea and Iran, the Treasury Department said Friday.

Cohen, the under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, will meet with senior government officials and private-sector leaders in Japan, South Korea and China on his March 18-22 trip, the department said in a statement.

Cohen will be accompanied by a State Department official, the department said in the brief statement.

"These discussions will focus on the ongoing cooperation and consultation to implement United Nations sanctions designed to disrupt the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's efforts to continue its nuclear proliferation activities and ballistic missile programs," it said.

The talks will also cover the international community's implementation of economic sanctions against Iran, the Treasury said.

Washington, Israel and much of the West believe that Iran's nuclear program of uranium enrichment is a cover for a weapons drive, a charge denied by Tehran.