Finance

China's trade with North Korea rises 10%

China's trade with North Korea rises 10%

The United States is reportedly preparing a new round of secondary sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals that do business with North Korea, according to Reuters.

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 a year ago.

The looming decision comes as the administration has grown impatient with China for failing to do more to rein in North Korea.

China has slashed imports of coal from North Korea even as overall trade between the countries continues to rise.

China generally blames the United States and South Korea for worsening tension with their military exercises. But it is especially anxious about the collapse of the regime with which it shares a border, and fears both an influx of millions of North Korean refugees and the possibility of a unified Korea with USA troops again at the Yalu River. "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.

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Its Foreign Ministry has urged a halt to what it called the "China responsibility theory" with respect to North Korea, declaring all parties needed to pull their weight.

Earlier in 2017, North Korea engaged in a war of words with Chinese state media when faced with Chinese criticism over its ballistic missile tests, widely seen as provocations inviting U.S. military measures in response.

Geng argued that China had been making unremitting efforts and had played a constructive role with respect to the North Korea issue. The sanctions are meant to apply meaningful pressure on a government which is all but single-handedly propping up a regime that threatens South Korea, Japan, and the United States with nuclear destruction.

"We are willing to look at third-party sanctions and look at other nations and sanction them if they are involved in activities that help give money to the DPRK", department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said during a regular press briefing, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

She noted Washington issued sanctions against Chinese entities last week.


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