Cus­toms: Im­ports drop from the DPRK

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YUNBI zhangyunbi@chi­

China’s im­ports from the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea have seen a dras­tic drop in the past four months and it “has strictly abided” by United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions, a cus­toms of­fi­cial said.

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 $880 mil­lion in the first six months of this year, a year-on-year drop of 13.2 per­cent.

In March the year-on-year de­crease was 36.5 per­cent, and in June it was 28.9 per­cent, Huang said.

UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion 2270, ap­proved in March 2016, in­cluded a ban on all ex­ports of ma­te­ri­als like coal, iron and iron ore from the DPRK.

As part of China’s moves to honor res­o­lu­tions that tar­get Py­ongyang’s nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams, China sus­pended coal im­ports from its north­east­ern neigh­bor start­ing Feb 19, the Min­istry of Com­merce con­firmed later in the same month.

China im­ported only 2.67 mil­lion met­ric tons of coal from the DPRK in the first half of this year, a year-on-year drop of 74.5 per­cent, Huang noted.

All coal im­ports from the DPRK hap­pened be­fore Feb 18, and “this is a sign of China’s im­ple­ment­ing the UNSC res­o­lu­tions”, Huang said.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump claimed in a tweet this month that China-DPRK trade in the first quar­ter “grew al­most 40 per­cent”. But Huang said the to­tal trade fig­ure in the first six months was $2.55 bil­lion, an in­crease of 10.5 per­cent.

China’s ex­ports to the DPRK in­creased by 29.1 per­cent in the same pe­riod, but Huang said that was mainly driven by tra­di­tional la­bor-in­ten­sive com­modi­ties such as tex­tiles, which are out­side the em­bargo lists.

That in­crease “can­not be used as ev­i­dence ques­tion­ing China’s se­ri­ous­ness in ful­fill­ing UNSC res­o­lu­tions”, Huang said.

For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang said Chi­nese ex­ports of iron to the DPRK for civil­ian pur­poses do not re­late to the sanctions targeting Py­ongyang’s nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams, and China will con­tinue im­ple­ment­ing the res­o­lu­tions “in an all-out man­ner”.

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