WASHINGTON (AP) — China has announced that it will cut off imports of North Korean coal, iron ore and other goods in three weeks under U.N. sanctions imposed over the North’s nuclear and missile programs.
China, the isolated North’s main trading partner, has been reluctant to push leader Kim Jong Un’s regime too hard for fear it might collapse. But Beijing is increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang and supported a U.N. Security Council ban on Aug. 5 on coal and other key goods.
The Chinese customs agency said Monday that it will stop processing imports of North Korean coal, iron and lead ores and fish at midnight on Sept. 5.
The announcement follows an escalating exchange of angry words between Kim’s government and the Trump administration in Washington. The latest U.N. sanctions are intended to block North Korean exports worth $1 billion — a significant share of total exports valued at $3 billion last year.