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China boosts trade restrictions on North Korea

06 January 2018

The new restrictions will go into effect over the weekend.

In November, China, one of North Korea's top trading partners, exported no oil products to the isolated country, apparently going above and beyond the United Nations restrictions. The man reportedly told investigators that a Chinese national commissioned multiple transfers of oil products on the high seas.

China will also halt imports of North Korean foods and electric appliances, starting on January 23rd.

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China is the North's main trading partner and energy supplier, making its enforcement measures critical to the success of sanctions.

Taiwan's authorities in the city of Kaohsiung launched an inquiry following South Korea's seizure of the Hong Kong-flagged Lighthouse Winmore, an oil tanker which delivered oil products to a North Korean vessel at sea. However, the Taiwanese suspect denies knowing that the recipient would be a North Korean ship.

"If it is confirmed through investigation there are violations of Security Council resolutions, China will deal seriously with them in accordance with laws and regulations", Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, said today, as quoted by the AP.

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The announcement was also made just as North Korea agreed to talks with South Korea over the upcoming Winter Olympics, a move viewed as either a diplomatic breakthrough, Pyongyang buckling under sanctions, a delaying tactic, or a plot to fragment the global coalition aligned against North Korea's missile program, depending on the optimism level of the observer.

The new sanctions include sharply cutting limits on its imports of refined oil.

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China boosts trade restrictions on North Korea