Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

China trading more with North Korea but buying less coal

China trading more with North Korea but buying less coal

Tensions rose after North Korea's test this month of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the USA mainland.

South Korea on Monday offered to hold military discussions with North Korea for the first time in almost three years in an effort to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. Numbers showing an increase are not evidence that China is failing to enforce United Nations resolutions, with imports from North Korea falling every month since March, Huang added.

"Simple accumulated data can not be used as evidence to question China's severe attitude in carrying out UN Security Council resolutions", Huang told a press briefing.

"Trade related to the people's livelihood in North Korea, especially if it embodies humanitarian principles, should not be affected by sanctions", said Huang at a separate news briefing.

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"We hope all relevant sides can make sure that they are clear that Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea are not comprehensive economic sanctions".

Huang said coal imports dropped by three-quarters in the first half, and all those shipments had been made before February 18.

Seoul's proposal, which comes after months of repeated nuclear weapons tests by Pyongyang, would be the first government-level talks between the two Koreas since 2015, reports Efe news.

Last week, Trump cited a Chinese Customs agency statement that two-way trade with North Korea rose 36.8 per cent from a year earlier in the first quarter.

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"So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!" he added. Trump tweeted on July 5.

One US official said it is likely the Chinese spy ship was near Alaska to keep tabs on the missile defense test.

It asked Pyongyang to respond via an inter-Korean hotline, which was cut off by the North past year.

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