China Bans Coal, Lead, Iron Imports From North Korea

China's Ministry of Commerce said that Beijing will halt imports of coal, iron, iron ore and seafood from North Korea starting on Tuesday, cutting an important economic lifeline for the Pyongyang regime, as it implemented a package of sanctions passed by the United Nations Security Council on August 6.

China accounts for roughly 90% of North Korean trade but moved earlier in February to suspend North Korea’s coal imports until the end of the year. Coal normally accounts for about half of North Korea’s exports, but despite the coal ban, overall trade between the two countries remained healthy according to WaPo.

Last month China announced that imports from North Korea fell to $880 million in the six months that ended in June, down 13% from a year earlier. 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. But a 29 percent spike in Chinese exports to North Korea — North Korea bought $1.67 billion worth of Chinese products in the first six months of the year — helped push total trade between the two countries up 10 percent between January and June, compared with the same period last year.

While the latest move to halt imports of iron, iron ore, lead and lead ore, and seafood products will put significantly more pressure on Pyongyang, it is unlikely to be enough to convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program, which it sees as essential to its own survival, experts say.

The announcement comes after days of increasingly bellicose rhetoric between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which however appears to have moderated somewhat in the past 48 hours when contrary to some expectations, there were no escalations - and no missile or nuclear tests by North Korea - over the weekend. Last weekend, the UN Security Council approved tough sanctions against Pyongyang with analysts estimating that the action could cost North Korea US$1 billion in foreign revenue a year. The sanctions were in response to North Korea’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month, which Kim boasted could now strike any part of the United States.

Indicating China's reluctance to implement the sanctions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a regional forum last week that his country would pay a price for implementing the sanctions, given China’s traditional economic ties with North Korea.

On Monday Beijing also warned the Trump administration not to split the international coalition over North Korea by provoking a trade war between China and the United States. The warning comes as President Trump is expected to sign an executive memorandum Monday afternoon instructing his top trade negotiator to launch an investigation into Chinese intellectual property violations, a move that could eventually result in severe trade penalties.  In China, these proposed measures were seen as an attempt to put pressure on Beijing to act more strongly against North Korea, and at the same time an attempt to shift the blame for the world’s failure to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs onto China alone.


Mr 9x19 gatorengineer Mon, 08/14/2017 - 09:55 Permalink

1st of all china does not BAN imports, it suspends.... nuance.2nd, it prooves china make steps on USA direction, and try at its best to not get in conflict with USA.3rd, mainstream rhetoric about nuke xxx yyy and bla bla is all theatre to make population quiet and docile. it is all bullshit.because 1st customer of china to export  shitloads of manufactured crap is USA, you do not get grip on your customers, never. move along.chinks just worth as much a EU,  coward fucks under US commanding. 

In reply to by gatorengineer

GodHelpAmerica (not verified) Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:16 Permalink

Weak move Xi, on all fronts.

You were raised and that's your call? You either counter by raising or you fold.

Trump isn't bluffing; only a strong hand can win here--perhaps you don't have one.

Put up your gold or stfu, Xi.

GodHelpAmerica (not verified) gatorengineer Mon, 08/14/2017 - 08:12 Permalink

Not with a White House full of generals. That and of course--for now--the the US still has the infinite capacity to spend and support its bloated military. The military is the ONLY thing Trump can follow through with. No congressional opposition either.

And the Russia scandal suddenly dissapeared from the headlines--I wonder why...

In reply to by gatorengineer

M4DM4N Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:20 Permalink

Come on Lil''s your chance to save face and not subject your people to annihilation while subjecting my sons to the whims of some bloodthirsty asshole like McCain who'll probably want to reinstate the draft. 

Blacksunday3 Mon, 08/14/2017 - 08:07 Permalink

The trade pressure just produced a result. This is an annoying story. I wish China would act like a civilized nation and reject the presence of such a disgusting country right on its border. China is still third world in many respects.

Dre4dwolf Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:22 Permalink

Now if they actually follow through North Korea has serious pressure on it, their currency will be hurting, but given the fact Noko is the counterfeiting Capitol of the world, how much will this actually impact them?

overmedicatedu… Arnold Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:38 Permalink

the past riots with antifa gangs were all violent leftists ...shown on zh many many times..berkley ca riot at the university as example..yet the police let the antifa groups march into the city approved white man must have been slow that day..this was forced to happen by leftist JU mayor..who woulda known??

In reply to by Arnold

zigizigi Mon, 08/14/2017 - 08:00 Permalink

If Beijing believes that they can avoid the trade war by sanctioning NK then they put the cart before the horse. The trade war is not a threat to encourage Chima to join the anti NK camp, it's the opposite, the whole NK story is a mere excuse to impose trade restrictions on China by Trump administration. He's desperate to fight the yuge trade deficit. And the "trade war" will be there regardless of Chinese position on NK. They will be blaimed for being non-cooperative by hook or by crook. Don't they know that?

Dilluminati Mon, 08/14/2017 - 08:18 Permalink

How can this be verified?  It's a step in the right direction but America is sooo damn tired of bad trade deals and weasels in Washington or any other capital and their "loopholes" that I can't see this mattering to the people in the streets.  We have tried sanctions under Bush and Obama and look at what it produced.   Nothingburger made from leftover nothingburgers. {{{YAWN!!!}}}

goldoverbtc Mon, 08/14/2017 - 08:38 Permalink

North Korea is not going to be a threat in the near future.  This is all a distraction from the fact the world economy is slowing down and about to fail.  It looks likely that a war will break out in Asia that will leave the world distracted from the slowing economy but will also give an excuse for the slow down at the same 

Gohigher Mon, 08/14/2017 - 09:03 Permalink

Is it real or is it ALL theater ?
Opening China's books to the west'$ perusal has as much chance of happening as "Audit the FED". (which set of books would you like to see ?? We have soooooo many!)

That said, if China's stated course is true: a cornered animal is dangerous. Maybe they need a bogeyman just like the USSA, Europigs and RUsskies- hell, every power hungry tinpot warlord Nation, too. NOTHING papers over a festering economy/class implosion than a fearful population fed lies by their leaders.

Second, the oil blockade on Japan left them little choice but to lash out as the Western Powers predicted/planned. Not that their warlords had benevolent plans, too. Fuck around enough poking a rattler, he'll strike.

Fuck the WAR PIGS

historian40 Mon, 08/14/2017 - 10:22 Permalink

Funny how China and Russia are supposed to be opposing the empire, but they keep doing what the empire demands.  They like to claim Russia is stoppng the US in Syria, but in reality, not so much.  That nation has been turned into a dependent, its infrastructure destroyed, and several NATO countries occupy them now, and the US is building bases within their borders.  Not such a victory really.