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China to restrict oil exports to N.Korea
January 19 2018, 01:41 | Irvin Gilbert
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China will restrict oil exports to and ban textile imports from North Korea, the commerce ministry announced today, as Beijing joined global efforts to enforce tighter UN Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang for its provocative nuclear and missile tests.
The sanctions would also ban imports of textiles from Pyongyang.
China's trade with North Korea rose in August to its highest since December 2016, data showed on Saturday, even after the United Nations slapped tougher sanctions on Pyongyang in a bid to choke off a third of its $3 billion in annual export revenue.
The UN resolution states that starting next year, exports of the refined oil products such as gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oil, etc. will be capped at 2 million barrels annually.
China also chose to limit exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea from October 1 in line with the export ceiling imposed under the UN Security Council Resolution No. 2375. North Korea will be feeling the pain of new United Nations' sanctions targeting some of its biggest remaining foreign revenue streams, like textiles, joint ventures and remittances from its legion of workers overseas.
Joseph Cheng of the Chinese University of Hong Kong told Al Jazeera that "China wants to demonstrate its support of the world community's position dissuade North Korea from continuing to hold nuclear tests and long-range missile tests".
President Donald Trump has put China at the forefront of USA efforts to rein in North Korea's nuclear program. Yet in early September, after North Korea conducted its sixth and biggest nuclear test, it called the prospect of a full oil embargo "rash and extreme".
Last month, the United States announced sanctions against five Chinese firms and one individual, two Singapore-based companies and three Russian citizens alleging that they supported North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.
Chinese leaders were long North Korea's diplomatic protectors but express increasing frustration with the government of Kim Jong-un. Trump, speaking during the U.N. General Assembly, called Kim "Rocket Man", and Kim threatened in a video to "tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire". "We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong Un", he said, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.
North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said Thursday that the country could soon test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.