Thursday, April 7, 2016, Chaitra 24, 1422 BS, Jamadius Sani 28, 1437 Hijri
China restricts imports of coal, iron from N Korea
Published :Thursday, 7 April, 2016, Time : 12:00 AM View Count : 14
April 6: China on Tuesday imposed restrictions on imports of North
Korean coal and iron, Beijing's commerce ministry said, in line with
United Nations sanctions on the country following its nuclear and
The coal trade between the neighbours was worth $1
billion last year, Chinese Customs figures show, but the announcement
allowed for trade to continue if the proceeds were for livelihood
The move also put in place bans on the import of gold,
titanium and rare earth metals from the North, as well as some sales of
aviation fuel to it, in line with the UN Security Council measures.
council approved the measures in March, in the wake of a fourth atomic
test by Pyongyang, and Beijing pledged strictly to implement them.
the resolution's language -- concluded after seven weeks of hard
negotiations between Washington and Beijing -- left significant
loopholes for Pyongyang's key economic supporter to continue business as
China is the North's main provider of trade and aid and the
text allowed for commerce in certain goods, including coal and iron, to
carry on as long as the proceeds did not support Pyongyang's nuclear
The UN did not set criteria for making that determination, leaving each country to make its own decision.
exceptions were mirrored in the text of the statement by China's
commerce ministry, which also provided a letter for companies to sign
"solemnly" pledging that their imports of the products were "not related
to North Korea's nuclear programme or ballistic missile programme".
Aviation fuel sales could also be permitted for humanitarian and some civil aviation purposes.
with China is crucial for the isolated and impoverished North, which
has suffered regular food shortages and an outright famine in the
In 2014 China accounted for more than 90 per cent of North
Korea's $7.61 billion in total trade, according to the latest available
figures from South Korea's state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion
Washington has long held that changing North Korea's behaviour depends on China's willingness to use its economic leverage.
Beijing has resisted targeting Pyongyang's fragile economy for fear of
provoking the regime's collapse, potentially leading to a flood of
cross-border refugees and ultimately the prospect of US troops stationed
on its border in a reunified Korea.
That stance has become harder
and harder to maintain, as Pyongyang has continued to defy both the
international community and Beijing's efforts to restrain it.
In recent weeks North Korea has repeatedly fired projectiles into the East Sea. ?AFP
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