North Korea Trade with China Rises Despite Sanctions

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Huang Songping, spokesman of General Administration of Customs, said on Thursday at a Beijing news conference that China's total imports from the DPRK amounted to US$880 million in the first six months of this year, a year-on-year drop of 13.2 percent.

The bill is meant "to stop North Korea and prevent nuclear war", he said, pointing to recent news reports on an increase in China's trade with its wayward, isolated neighbor despite the UNSC sanctions.

Reflecting growing concern about North Korea on Capitol Hill, two members of the US Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Despite the worldwide opprobrium over its nuclear ambitions, North Korea has managed to take advantage of a loophole in United Nations sanctions by increasing its exports of iron ore. The Red Dragon of Asia further says that there is nothing wrong with trading with Pyongyang as it is normal for two countries to have trade relations.

A report by US -based nuclear expert Siegfried Hecker published by 38 North last September estimated North Korea had stockpiles of 32 to 54 kg (70 to 119 pounds) of plutonium, enough for six to eight bombs. Previous Chinese customs data showed two-way trade with the North had risen 30.6 percent in dollar terms in the first three months of the year.

The U.N. sanctions do not include goods intended for ordinary people and those for humanitarian reasons.

The text calls for kicking out from the USA banking system the businesses and financial institutions involved in a significant amount of trade in goods and services with the communist state, barring all North Korean-made products from entering the U.S. market, and sanctioning all firms engaged in labor exports.

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The repeated nuclear and missile tests of North Korea infuriates China, however, the latter also blames South Korea and United States for aggravating the tensions. They focus more on doing military exercises ignoring China's proposition, hence, worsening the situation.

The images of the radiochemical laboratory showed there had been at least two reprocessing cycles not previously known aimed at producing "an undetermined amount of plutonium that can further increase North Korea's nuclear weapons stockpile", something that would worry US officials who see Pyongyang as one of the world's top security threats. In global terms, the dollar figure is small: North Korea exported an estimated $74 million of iron ore and concentrates to China during the first five months of 2017.

"China has been constantly executing the UN Security Council resolution in a comprehensive, precise, earnest and strict way", Huang said.

"With its latest successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, North Korea has demonstrated intent and capability to hit the USA homeland - and as President Trump said, we must never allow this to happen", said Gardner who chairs the Senate East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee.

Trump acknowledged as much at a July 12 press availability held aboard Air Force One on the way to France to celebrate Bastille Day.

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