N.Korea coal im­ports al­lowed

Aug re­sump­tion com­plied with UN res­o­lu­tions

Global Times - - Front Page - By Zhang Hong­pei

China has ex­e­cuted the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil’s sanc­tions against North Korea in a com­pre­hen­sive way, and im­ports of seafood and min­er­als from North Korea within the grace pe­riod are in line with the UN res­o­lu­tions, an of­fi­cial from China’s Min­istry of Com­merce (MOFCOM) said on Thurs­day.

China briefly re­sumed North Korean coal im­ports in Au­gust fol­low­ing their sus­pen­sion since Fe­bru­ary. The re­sump­tion came just be­fore a to­tal UN ban on North Korean coal trade that took ef­fect on Septem­ber 5. China had started en­forc­ing the new sanc­tions from Au­gust 15.

On Au­gust 5, the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil im­posed new sanc­tions on North Korea, tar­get­ing its ex­ports of coal, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood due to the coun­try’s nu­clear and weapons pro­grams.

“Ac­cord­ing to ear­lier state­ments from MOFCOM, the North Korean prod­ucts that had ar­rived at China’s ports be­fore the ban ex­e­cu­tion date can go through cus­toms clear­ance pro­ce­dures,” Gao Feng, a spokesman for MOFCOM, told a reg­u­lar brief­ing.

MOFCOM an­nounced on Au­gust 14 it would com­ply with the UN sanc­tions while con­tin­u­ing to process im­ports of banned goods un­til the dead­line if those ship­ments had al­ready reached China.

“The coal im­ports con­formed to the UN res­o­lu­tions as well as re­lated rules on China’s for­eign trade, since the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil had of­fered a grace pe­riod for ex­e­cut­ing the ban on im­ports of min­eral and seafood prod­ucts from North Korea,” Gao said.

China’s coal im­ports from North Korea in Au­gust fell 33.5 per­cent yearon-year to 1.64 mil­lion tons, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data from the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms (GAC).

The GAC data also showed that China im­ported 4.3 mil­lion tons of North Korean coal worth $358.8 mil­lion from Jan­uary to Au­gust this year.

In terms of the devel­op­ment of trade be­tween China and North Korea, Gao said, China will de­velop mu­tual trade with North Korea based on do­mes­tic laws and the in­ter­na­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties China shoul­ders.

In ad­di­tion, the min­istry also ex­pressed the deter­mi­na­tion of the Chi­nese govern­ment to re­strain “ir­ra­tional” in­vest­ment in over­seas mar­kets.

“We’re cur­rently work­ing on a black­list sys­tem with re­lated de­part­ments in or­der to roll out the de­tails as soon as pos­si­ble,” Gao said, not­ing that the min­istry will fur­ther tighten re­views of the au­then­tic­ity of out­bound in­vest­ment.

In early Au­gust, four de­part­ments in­clud­ing MOFCOM pro­posed a black­list sys­tem for firms to en­sure proper out­bound in­vest­ment and avoid risks.

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