Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Trump hails China for cutting trade with North Korea

Trump hails China for cutting trade with North Korea

The United States on Friday hailed the reduction of trade between China and North Korea, saying it supports global efforts to end the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Imports from North Korea slumped 81.6 percent year-on-year to $54.34 million, Chinese customs spokesman Huang Songping said in a briefing in Beijing on Friday.

After North Korea tested its most powerful nuclear device yet and launched missiles capable of reaching the USA, the UN Security Council imposed a series of sanctions restricting oil imports and cutting off about 90 percent of its export revenue.

Chinese government had also imposed sanctions on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programme.

The penalties that came into force on September 5 a year ago banned countries from buying coal, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood from North Korea. The U.S. sees cutting off North Korea's economic ties with China - the country's dominant trading partner - as essential to forcing Kim back to the negotiating table.

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the Trump administration is "pleased" China has sharply reduced trade with North Korea. All told, trade between the two sides fell nearly 51 percent during the month.

The report came, after the December statistics that showed that China exported no oil, gasoline, jet fuel and diesel to North Korea in November and imported no iron ore, coal or lead from the country.

China's exports to North Korea in December declined 23.4 percent from a year earlier to $260 million, Huang told reporters. The value was the highest since 2014.

Following the adoption of the UNSC resolution on North Korea, China called on all the parties involved to show restraint and undertake joint efforts in order to de-escalate tensions on the peninsula.

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