Chinese Trade With North Korea Tanks As Sanctions Take Their Toll

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2018

The Canadian government has organized a meeting in Vancouver on January 16 for various countries to come up with an worldwide response to North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile program.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry issued a statement strongly condemning the drills and noting that Washington's campaign to demonize Pyongyang was leading to a war, while North Korea only "pursues a legitimate and fair aim by strengthening its means of nuclear deterrence". It will be co-hosted by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

During a telephone conversation earlier in the day, Kang and U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson agreed to have a bilateral meeting in Vancouver.

"We will be discussing with our partners and allies the kind of steps that we can take on maritime interdiction and also to be cutting, disrupting funding and disrupting resources", he said.


The so-called Vancouver Group is formed by the countries that fought in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Yonhap reported Thursday North Korea's religious council strongly condemned a U.S. State Department designation of the regime as a country of particular concern under the International Religious Freedom Act.

North Korea observed a six-week break in missile launches between September 15 and November 29, but the prospect of war with the USA, which held a series of joint military drills with South Korea during that period, never stopped preoccupying the officials who spoke with Vorontsov.

Hook, meanwhile, defended the decision not to invite China and Russian Federation to Vancouver, which State Department under-secretary Steven Goldstein later said was made in conjunction with Canada.


China, the main source of North Korea's fuel, did not export any gasoline, jet fuel, diesel or fuel oil to its neighbour in November. This ministerial will enhance and strengthen all of the efforts under way.

As North Korea struggle to cope with economic challenges following sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by United Nations and US over nuclear and missile development, China says its trade with the Kim Jong Un-led country fell 50 per cent in December from a year earlier.

"This action supports the United States-led global effort to apply maximum pressure until the North Korean regime ends its illicit programs, changes its behavior, and moves toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", she wrote.


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