“Trade related to the people’s livelihood in the North Korea, especially those that embody humanitarian principles, should not be affected by sanctions”.
Despite Washington’s calls for action, trade between China and its neighbour increased 10.5 percent to $2.5 billion in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year, including a 29.1 percent jump in exports. “The maintenance of normal economic and trade exchanges between China and [North Korea] does not violate Security Council’s resolutions”, the foreign ministry spokesman said. He has been urging the UN Security Council to impose a “complete economic embargo” requiring all member nations to cut off all finance and trade with the North, with a few limited humanitarian exceptions.
The decline follows China’s decision in February to ban all imports of North Korean coal.
More than 5,000 Chinese companies regularly work with the North Korea every year, and China accounts for nearly 85 percent of North Korea’s trade, Newsweek reported Thursday.
Huang said coal imports dropped by three-quarters in the first half, and all those shipments had been made before February 18. “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.
United States president Donald Trump recently claimed on Twitter that China-DPRK trade surged a whopping 40-percent in Q1, which sparked widespread concerns over China’s true stance on issues related to North Korea. North Korean men who try to leave are likely to be rapidly identified as absent by their work units.
The timing and scope of the USA action will depend heavily on how China responds to pressure for tougher steps against North Korea when US and Chinese officials meet for a high-level economic dialogue in Washington Wednesday, the administration sources told Reuters.