North Korea Trade with China Rises Despite Sanctions

Amos Gonzales
July 16, 2017

US President Donald Trump claimed in a tweet this month that China-North Korea trade in the first quarter "grew nearly 40 percent".

The Seoul-financed Korea Institute for National Unification said in a report that since late 2015, the North has been bolstering border controls and installing high-tension electric fencing along the Tumen River that forms the border with China. Under Security Council resolution 2321, North Korean exports of iron and iron ore for civil purposes, and not related to North Korea's nuclear program, are not subject to the sanctions. But try as he might on Twitter or in person, President Donald Trump hasn't persuaded China to keep Kim Jong Un's regime from testing missile after missile during his first six months in office. "Simple accumulated data can not be used as evidence to question China's severe attitude in carrying out UN Security Council resolutions", Huang told a news briefing.

Exports to North Korea rose 29.1 percent to $1.67 billion during the period, the data showed.

The decline follows China's decision in February to ban all imports of North Korean coal.

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But foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said United Nations resolution 2321 allows imports of iron and iron ore if the income is for the livelihood of civilians.

"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.

China does not want a flood of millions of hungry refugees coming over its northeast border if the Pyongyang regime collapses, and it certainly does not want the 28,000 USA troops now stationed in South Korea to be able to move all the way up the peninsula. Trump tweeted on July 5.

The White House took swift action after seeing that a strategy of persuasion wasn't working - approving a long-delayed arms sales package to Taiwan, sending in a pair of freedom of navigation operations to challenge Beijing's territorial claims in the heavily contested South China Sea, and imposing an initial round of secondary sanctions, which targeted a few individuals and companies with financial ties to Pyongyang.

Other reports by BadHub

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