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China suspends North Korean iron, seafood imports

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China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives at the departure area of the Manila International Airport in Manila on August 8, 2017 after attending the 50th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional security forum. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS

China will halt iron, iron ore and seafood imports from North Korea starting Tuesday as it implements new UN sanctions, the commerce ministry said Monday.

Beijing had pledged to fully enforce the latest sanctions against its diplomatic ally after coming under pressure from the United States to do more to compel Pyongyang to drop its nuclear weapons programme.

The ministry said on its website that all imports of coal, iron, iron ore and seafood will be “completely prohibited” from Tuesday.

The announcement follows days of increasingly bellicose rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un’s regime, which has raised international alarm.

The United Nations Security Council, including permanent member Beijing, approved tough sanctions against Pyongyang on August 6 that could cost the hermetic country $1 billion a year.

The sanctions were in response to the North’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month, after which Kim boasted that he could now strike any part of the United States.

The US has accused China, which is North Korea’s main economic lifeline, of not doing enough to rein in its neighbour.

But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi vowed after the UN sanctions were given the green light that his country “will for sure implement that new resolution 100 percent, fully and strictly”.



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