losangelesnewstoday.com June 20, 2018

North Korea Trade with China Rises Despite Sanctions

15 July 2017, 12:35 | Katrina Lee

China, N. Korea: 2 repressive systems, 2 prisoners, 2 deaths

China trading more with North Korea but buying less coal

Chinese imports from North Korea fell 13.2% in the first half of the year, the country's customs authorities told a news conference Thursday.

Last Wednesday, July 5, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed that China is not doing enough to pressure North Korea after its intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

The repeated nuclear and missile tests of North Korea infuriates China, however, the latter also blames South Korea and United States for aggravating the tensions.

In the 1980s and 1990s, North Korea was a major supplier of iron ore to Chinese steelmakers, according to Philip Kirchlechner, director of Iron Ore Research Pty in Perth.

Despite rounds of global sanctions on Pyongyang, North Korea's trade deficit with China has risen to its highest level. Then on July 8, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met to discuss concerns on North Korea and the Chinese trade relations. It seems that those resolutions were China's Maginot Line in terms of participation. China imported about 445 million metric tons of iron ore in the first five months of 2017, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, of which just 1.1 million metric tons came from North Korea. "So it seems that further restrictions on civilian exchanges and trade is unlikely".

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For the Chinese government, purchases of iron ore provide a way to support the regime of Kim Jong Un now that sanctions more strictly cover North Korean coal. Finally, it took 82 days to adopt UNSC Resolution 2321, which was to address loopholes in Resolution 2270, after the fifth nuclear test. "North Korea is not self-sufficient", said Robert Kelly, associate professor of global relations at Pusan National University in the South Korean city of Busan.

"North Korea, one of the world's worst human rights abusers, is continuing to expand its nuclear and ballistic missile threats against the American homeland and our allies", said Rubio.

However, China is defending its stand as it prudently follows and observes sanctions released by the United Nations on North Korea. The US could negotiate on the extent of sanctions to gain the support of China and Russian Federation, but as UNSC sanctions to date have failed to prevent additional nuclear tests, the US is unlikely to settle for an ineffective resolution. The bill if passed by the Congress and signed into law by the United States president, would severely impact Chinese businesses. He referred to "tough pressures" that China faces in its relationship with North Korea.

After the launch, the United States drafted a resolution to impose stronger sanctions on the North, according to several senior UN diplomats.

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