North Korea Trade with China Rises Despite Sanctions

North Korea missile launch Kim Jong Un attends concert feting success

US President Donald Trump has been openly expressing disappointment over China's lukewarm stance in curbing its economic trade with North Korea, which reportedly grew nearly 40 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, raising the possibility for broader secondary sanctions.

The UN and the USA have attempted to use sanctions for the past decade in an attempt to stem North Korea's nuclear weapons development, but the latest July 4 test, which demonstrated a significant advance in its capabilities, have forced global bodies to reconsider their response going forward.

But customs administration spokesman Huang Songping said Beijing was upholding the United Nations sanctions against the regime of Kim Jong-Un.

President Trump and administration officials have grown increasingly irritated that China has not done more to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missiles programs, despite public pressure from the U.S.

He pointed to a 13.2 percent drop in imports from North Korea in the same period as an example of the pressure, adding that there have been sharp decreases every month since March.

"Make no mistake, the Security Council's sanctions on [North Korea] can not be equated with all-encompassing economic sanctions".

The decline follows China's decision in February to ban all imports of North Korean coal.

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 a year ago.

USA president Donald Trump recently claimed on Twitter that China-DPRK trade surged a whopping 40-percent in Q1, which sparked widespread concerns over China's true stance on issues related to North Korea. "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Chinese exports of iron to North Korea for civilian purposes do not relate to the sanctions targeting Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, and China will continue implementing the resolutions "in an all-out manner".

The Chinese customs department released figures showing a 29 percent spike in Chinese exports to North Korea.

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