China has banned the import of several vital products from North Korea in line with the UN sanctions announced earlier this month.
Importing coal, iron ore, lead concentrates and ore, lead and sea food from North Korea will be banned as of Tuesday, China’s Commerce Ministry said today.
It is hoped that the UN sanctions against trade with North Korea will force the country’s dictator Kim Jong-Un to slow down, if not abandon, his nuclear missile program.
The United States in particular wants to stop Pyongyang from developing nuclear missiles, while North Korea sees its nuclear arsenal as protection against the U.S. and its partners in Asia.
Concern that North Korea is close to achieving its goal of putting the mainland United States within range of a nuclear weapon has underpinned a spike in tensions in recent months, including between China and the U.S.
China accounts for 90 percent of trade with North Korea but is suspected of failing to enforce past UN measures, even after voting in their favor.
U.S. President Donald Trump has urged China to do more to rein in its neighbour, often linking Beijing’s efforts to comments around U.S.-China trade. China strenuously rejects linking the two issues.
UN sanctions regimes have sometimes come under fire for harming general populations rather than their targeted leaders, but worked well in South Africa to build pressure against apartheid, and more recently to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.
If sanctions fail to change the regime’s behavior, the Security Council still has other options, such as an oil embargo or the return home of North Korean nationals working abroad.
The UN sanctions against North Korea must be implemented 30 days after the resolution was approved in a vote on August 6.
A new report on the implementation of UN sanctions against North Korea is expected in September.