US prepares to sanction Chinese firms over NKorea

US prepares to sanction Chinese firms over NKorea

US prepares to sanction Chinese firms over NKorea

Washington has said talks of easing sanctions would take place only if North Korea agrees to cease weapons proliferation. China will continue to strictly and earnestly implement the North Korea-related Security Council resolution in its entirety.

The rise in trade was driven by a 29.1% increase in exports from a year earlier, while imports fell 13.2%, said Huang Songping, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs, at a briefing Thursday.

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. "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. 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.

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

Huang said coal imports dropped by three-quarters in the first half, and all those shipments had been made before February 18. By comparison, imports of coal alone were worth $97.6 million just in the month of February.

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

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A Chinese government official said Thursday that China-North Korea trade was worth $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, up about 10% over the same period past year.

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 US troops now stationed in South Korea to be able to move all the way up the peninsula.

The latest potential measures could also be posturing prior to next week's meetings, given Trump's tweet following his meeting with Xi at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany over the weekend.

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