N.Korea coal imports allowed
Aug resumption complied with UN resolutions
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.