China's August trade with North Korea surges after United Nations sanctions

A limited amount of petroleum products and liquefied natural gas, allowed under the United Nations resolution, would still be exported to North Korea.

As China is North Korea most important trading partner, the suspension of textile imports is expected to affect Pyongyang's income.

China will limit refined oil exports to North Korea to 500,000 barrels for the period from next Sunday, October 1, to the end of the year, in compliance with the latest United Nations restrictive measures imposed on Pyongyang due to its sixth nuclear test earlier in September.

China accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea's trade, making its cooperation critical to any efforts to derail Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

Exported refined oil products must be used fully on civil purposes, not for North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, or other activities banned by the UN Security Council, the ministry said.


China will also ban textile imports from the North Korea, the ministry said.

The world's second-largest economy imported and exported goods worth $604.27 million in August, up from $456.16 million in July, according to data from China's General Administration of Customs. They include a total and immediate ban on natural gas and textile exports and limiting annual petroleum exports to 2 million barrels beginning January 1. Since time immemorial, Chinese leaders have always been considered North Korea's diplomatic protectors but now express increasing frustration with the government of Kim Jong Un.

Tensions have been mounting on the Korean Peninsula as Pyongyang continues its missile and nuclear tests and the USA and its regional allies - South Korea and Japan - are holding drills in the area. "We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong Un", he said, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump praised China for increasing financial restrictions, and has been pushing Beijing to apply more pressure to North Korea over it nuclear programme.

North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said Thursday that the country could soon test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.


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