Banks: North Korea Urgent And Imminent Threat

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China said in February it would suspend coal imports from North Korea, potentially cutting off a major financial lifeline for Pyongyang, although analysts caution that Chinese figures should be viewed with some skepticism as they are sometimes manipulated for political purposes. "UN Security Council sanctions are not a total ban on shipments".

Senior US officials say that a new round of sanctions related to North Korea is imminent.

The growth in bilateral trade "should not be used as basis for questioning China's solemn attitude towards the implementation of the Security Council's resolutions", Huang Songping, a spokesman for Chinese Customs, told reporters in Beijing.

An "unexpected" jump in first-quarter trade between China and North Korea masked a declining trend, the state-run Global Times newspaper said last week.

While there are no easy options, our country must do more to deter the Kim regime. Then on July 8, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met to discuss concerns on North Korea and the Chinese trade relations.

Trade in dollar terms with North Korea rose about 12 percent in June from a month earlier to $499 million, according to Reuters calculations based on previously released data. Notably, China's coal imports from North Korea dropped precipitously, with only 2.7 million tons being shipped in the first half of 2017, down 75 percent from 2016.

I also support increasing sanctions against China and Chinese companies that support the Kim regime.

At the same time, iron ore imports have surged between January and May to $74.4 million compared to $24 million over the same period past year.

An aide to South Korean President Moon Jae In has proposed that five-way talks be held among Japan, the United States, China, Russia and South Korea in dealing with North Korea's nuclear program.

But coal imports slumped by 75%, suggesting Beijing is gradually choking off North Korea's biggest source of foreign currency.

The legislation gives those that now conduct trade with North Korea a clear choice - either do business with this heinous outlaw regime or do business with the world's leading economic and military power, he said.

China insisted Thursday it was upholding UN sanctions on North Korea despite a jump in its trade with the nuclear-armed nation that comes amid growing U.S. calls for Beijing to rein in its neighbour.

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