China trading more with North Korea but buying less coal

The US measures would initially hit Chinese entities considered “low-hanging fruit”, including smaller financial institutions and “shell” companies linked to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, said one of the officials, while declining to name the targets.

North Korea has asked the South Korean government for US$6 million through the UN Population Fund to pay for a census next year (US$1=W1,136). North Korean men who try to leave are likely to be rapidly identified as absent by their work units.

China suspended imports of North Korean coal in February, while imports of iron ore accord with relevant United Nations resolutions, he said.

“It is very hard to conclude that these recent defections are a pattern because we just do not have enough information at the moment”, said Park Sokeel, director of research and strategy at the Liberty in North Korea NGO.

“Flustered by the successful test-launch of our intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong -14, the USA is in a frenzy trying to drum up an unheard-up “ultra-intense sanctions resolution” opposing us in the UN Security Council”, the spokesperson said.

A Chinese government official said Thursday that China-North Korea trade was worth $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, up about 10% over the same period previous year.

The overall rise in trade has been driven by China’s exports to North Korea, which were up by almost 30% in the first half of the year.

UN Security Council Resolution 2270, approved in March 2016, included a ban on all exports of materials like coal, iron and iron ore from North Korea.

President Trump has been putting enormous pressure on his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to take action against Kim Jong-un.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated China’s opposition to unilateral sanctions outside the framework of the United Nations and that China has been fully enforcing UN resolutions.

That means North Korea is on the verge of creating a truly intercontinental nuclear threat: “Missiles of this scale are nearly always equipped with nuclear warheads“, he said. Under President Vladimir Putin, Russian foreign policy is reductive: Whatever causes the United States and its allies a major headache is by definition welcomed.

The legislation gives those that now conduct trade with North Korea a clear choice – either do business with this heinous outlaw regime or do business with the world’s leading economic and military power, he said.

Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to Washington, said on Monday that secondary sanctions were “not acceptable”.