China defends importing iron ore from North Korea

China defends importing iron ore from North Korea

Kim may also have believed that China, North Korea's neighbor and ally, does not want a weakened North Korea along its border. That makes it attractive to some state-owned Chinese steelmakers looking to reduce costs, she said. The two countries trade products such as coal and oil, which are particularly valuable for energy-poor North Korea.

Tillerson's statement comes days after the United States announced it was cutting financial ties between USA banks and China's Bank of Dandong, which the administration claims acts as a pipeline to support alleged illicit North Korean financial activity.

President Trump denounced China's trade with North Korea last week, saying it grew nearly 40 percent in the first quarter and questioned how much it was doing to help counter the growing threat from Pyongyang.

The U.S. has been trying to get China and Russian Federation to back a new UN Security Council resolution imposing stiffer sanctions on North Korea following its latest missile test.

While China's imports from North Korea dropped 13.2 percent to $880 million in the period from January to June, exports to North Korea rose 29.1 percent to $1.67 billion, he said.

The United States is reportedly preparing a new round of secondary sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals that do business with North Korea, according to Reuters.

Apparently, some North Koreans are willing to be sent to Russian Federation and have reportedly paid bribes for it as the situation back home is grim, Fox News reported.

The best hope that the U.S. has in dealing with North Korea is to squeeze it economically and force it to cooperate with other nations to stay alive.

President Trump has repeatedly criticized China over its trade with North Korea, calling on it to exert more pressure on Kim Jong-un's regime. After a North Korean missile landed off the coast of Russia's Pacific port of Vladivostok in May, the administration released a statement declaring: "With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil - in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan - the President can not imagine that Russia is pleased". If North Korea made a decision to use these weapons, they could cause huge damage in a short amount of time. The Security Council approved a resolution in November that exempted transactions in iron and iron ore intended "exclusively for livelihood purposes".

Cho, whose office handles ties with the North, said South Korea does not have a hostile policy against North Korea and does not seek North Korea's collapse or unification through absorption. Xi then reportedly said China is doing its best.

Firms in both Singapore and Myanmar have been accused of buying or selling weapons from North Korea.

"North Korea should respond to our honest proposals if it really seeks peace on the Korean Peninsula", Cho Myoung-gyon, Seoul's unification minister in charge of North Korea affairs, told reporters. If China were to cut off supplies, "it would be economically disastrous", he said.

Indeed, in Russia's view, the United States deserves at least as much blame for tensions on the Korean Peninsula as Pyongyang does.

The hermit kingdom's foreign ministry spokesman said: "Should the United Nations Security Council adopt another "resolution on sanctions", this will trigger corresponding measures by the DPRK and (the North will) respond to the "resolution" with its act of justice".

China's Foreign Ministry this week urged a halt to what it called the "China responsibility theory" on North Korea, saying all parties needed to pull their weight.

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