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China claims cuts to North Korean imports in first half

China claims cuts to North Korean imports in first half”

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley hinted shortly after North Korea's missile launch that she would propose new sanctions on the communist regime.

According to the statement, North Korea also urged the United States to think of Pyongyang's strategic position, instead of exerting pressure and introducing sanctions against the country.

Though the sources stressed that no final decisions had been made, they said China, North Korea's main trading partner, was crucial to pressuring Pyongyang to prevent it from achieving the capability of striking the U.S. with a nuclear-tipped missile.

China's exports to North Korea rose 29.1% in the first half of the year, with total trade with Pyongyang growing 10.5% to $2.55 billion.

But customs administration spokesman Huang Songping said Beijing was upholding the United Nations sanctions against the regime of Kim Jong-Un.

"Should the UN Security Council adopt another 'resolution on sanctions, ' this will trigger corresponding measures", KCNA cited the official as saying.

He pointed to a 13.2 percent drop in imports from North Korea in the same period as an example of the pressure, adding that there have been sharp decreases every month since March.

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"Make no mistake, the Security Council's sanctions on [North Korea] can not be equated with all-encompassing economic sanctions". The Security Council approved a resolution in November that exempted transactions in iron and iron ore intended "exclusively for livelihood purposes".

China announced in February the suspension of coal imports from the North, striking a blow at a major source of income for the hermit state.

At the same time, iron ore imports have surged between January and May to $74.4 million compared to $24 million over the same period a year ago. "It has nothing to do with creating income for DPRK nuclear programmes, so it is not on the sanctions list", Geng told a regular news briefing. In global terms, the dollar figure is small: North Korea exported an estimated $74 million of iron ore and concentrates to China during the first five months of 2017.

Trump pledged repeatedly during his election campaign to get tough on Chinese trade practices deemed unfair to the U.S., but his rhetoric softened after the friendlier-than-expected April summit with Mr. Xi. US President Donald Trump emphasized China's role in resolving North Korea issues at a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, noting, "China should act on North Korea issues".

Trump acknowledged as much at a July 12 press availability held aboard Air Force One on the way to France to celebrate Bastille Day.

Chinese customs spokesman Huang Songping stated, "As neighbors, China and North Korea maintain a normal business and trade exchanges".



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