China boosts trade restrictions on North Korea

China boosts trade restrictions on North Korea

China and South Korea have disagreements on the deployment of the US THAAD missile defense system in the South, which soured relations.

They also agreed to implement UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea and cooperate for a peaceful resolution of the North's nuclear issue.

Imports of North Korean food, machinery and some other goods are banned.

China is the North's main trading partner and energy supplier, making its enforcement critical to the success of sanctions.

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"If it is confirmed through investigation there are violations of Security Council resolutions, China will deal seriously with them in accordance with laws and regulations", Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, said today, as quoted by the AP.

Last month, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to punish President Kim Jong Un's regime for a missile test by limiting access to refined oil and requir ing all North Koreans working overseas to return home in 24 months. South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported in December that ships thought to be Chinese have been caught by USA reconnaissance satellites passing oil to North Korean vessels in global waters. China disputes the allegation.

China will temporarily halt its exports of refined products to North Korea if the cap draws near, the ministry said in a written statement. Previously, North Korean officials had refused to engage into any talks with South Korean counterparts "as North Korea believes that Seoul depends too much on the United States".