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China reports surge in exports to North Korea

16 July, 2017, 03:48 | Author: Nadine Todd
  • China reports surge in exports to North Korea

He's blasted the Asian superpower and even asked President Xi Jinping face-to-face to take a tougher stance on North Korea's missile and nuclear defense program.

Huang Songping, spokesman of General Administration of Customs, said on Thursday at a Beijing news conference that China's total imports from the DPRK amounted to US$880 million in the first six months of this year, a year-on-year drop of 13.2 percent.

"North Korea's Kim Jong-un regime is conducting nuclear experiments and developing various kinds of missile technology, threatening not only the Korean Peninsula but the entire world's peace and security", he said. Imports have fallen since March, when they declined 36.5 percent, he said.

China's exports to North Korea rose 29.1 percent in the first half of 2017, driven by consumer goods such as textiles that aren't on the sanctions list, Huang 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.

After Trump publicly pressed Beijing to rein in economic support for the rogue regime, trade between China and North Korea grew more than 37 percent in the first quarter, a statistic available in April but which Trump didn't publicly acknowledge until last week.

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. "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"

President Trump has repeatedly criticized China for not doing enough to control North Korea. Previous Chinese customs data showed two-way trade with the North had risen 30.6 percent in dollar terms in the first three months of the year.

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