Philippines suspends trade with regime
MANILA: The Philippines has suspended trade relations with North Korea to comply with a UN Security Council resolution over its repeated missile tests, Manila’s foreign minister said yesterday.
The US and other Western countries have asked the UN to consider tough new sanctions on North Korea after its test last week that it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb.
“We can say we have suspended trade relations with North Korea,” Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano told reporters after a meeting with the US ambassador on cooperation on an anti-drugs programme. “We will fully comply with UNSC resolution including the economic sanctions.”
Tension on the Korean Peninsula has escalated as North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has stepped up the development of weapons in defiance of UN sanctions.
The Philippines is North Korea’s fifth-largest trade partner, with bilateral trade from January to June this year worth US$28.8 million, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
According to the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the main exports to North Korea in 2015 were computers, integrated circuited boards, bananas and women’s undergarments.
“The UN Security Council is quite clear,” Mr Cayetano said. “Part of these are the economic sanctions and the Philippines will comply.”