China releases report outlining trade with North Korea

China releases report outlining trade with North Korea

With UN sanctions on North Korea at an all-time high, China is set to release a trade report detailing Beijing’s

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Photo: Getty/Kevin Frayer

With UN sanctions on North Korea at an all-time high, China is set to release a trade report detailing Beijing’s compliance. China appears determined to prove itself to the international community, with North Korean trade down 52% from one year ago.

Other nations, particularly the US, have criticised China’s positive relationship with Pyeongyang in the past, as China remains North Korea’s foremost trading partner. China, though, claims to be following through on UN sanctions of oil, coal, metals and agricultural products.

China’s compliance efforts have been hampered by a number of incidents of sanction-busting operations. Chinese and North Korean vessels were spotted carrying out ship-to-ship transfers of oil just two days ago. China, for its part, has condemned these sanction-violating activities.

It is likely that China has not complied with sanctions exactly as it claims to have. Expect China to maintain some unofficial trade with North Korea, drawing criticism, especially from the US, which released its harshest sanctions to date yesterday. All the same, China is making a concerted effort to distance itself from North Korea, a major paradigm shift.

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