China for the first time agreed to punish North Korean government officials for defying United Nations resolutions barring the country from conducting nuclear and missile tests, Bloomberg reported. Ambassador Liu Zhenmin said the Chinese government would support imposing a travel ban and freezing the assets for a "large percentage" of 15 "senior" North Korean government officials. The 15 officials were identified by the US and other nations as targets for UN sanctions. A formal agreement will be announced this week. No North Korean government officials have been subject to Security Council sanctions adopted after North Korea’s 2006 nuclear tests. China’s decision clears the way for Security Council action this week.