MS Risk Blog

China Announces End Date for Imports from North Korea

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China last month announced that it will stop importing North Korean coal, iron ore, fish and other goods on 5 September 2017 as it implements United Nations sanctions.

Earlier last month, the UN Security Council, including China, backed a new resolution imposing fresh sanctions on North Korea in retaliation for its controversial nuclear programme. The sanctions aim to block US $1 billion worth of North Korean exports – about a third of its total exports.

The announcement by China came as US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford disclosed that military options were being prepared against the North if diplomatic and economic sanctions failed. The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated that Mr Dunford had made the comments in a 50-minute meeting to discuss North Korean provocation.

China has also appointed a new special envoy for the North Korean issue. China is North Korea’s closest ally, however it has been angered by its repeated missile and nuclear tests. President Xi has urged Washington and Pyongyang to avoid words or actions that could worsen the situation. US President Donald Trump has also called on China to do more in order to stop the North’s nuclear ambitions, while the South Korean leader has called for a peaceful solution, saying that there must not be another war on the Korean Peninsula.

Last month, tensions significant increased over fears that North Korea is close to achieving its goal of putting the mainland US within range of a nuclear weapon. North Korea also threatened to fire intermediate missiles into waters off the coast of the US overseas territory of Guam. The North’s state news agency also stated that about 3.5 million students and workers have volunteered to fight alongside the military to defend their country from the US.