World

China's trade with North Korea tumbles over United Nations sanctions

China's trade with North Korea tumbles over United Nations sanctions

This comes after Beijing released year-end customs figures on Friday, showing that imports from North Korea were down 33-percent a year ago, and over 80-percent in December.

China's trade with North Korea plunged by 50 percent in December as United Nations sanctions tightened, the Beijing government said on Friday.

Washington and Pyongyang are in a standoff over North Korea's missile and nuclear programs, which could be used to target the United States and her allies. The U.S. sees cutting off North Korea's economic ties with China - the country's dominant trading partner - as essential to forcing Kim back to the negotiating table.

Brian Hook, the State Department's policy director, said that the US believes that its diplomatic pressure campaign is the best way to force North Korea to the negotiating table, and that maritime interdiction will help to crack down on smuggling and sanctions-busting.

The meeting in Vancouver on January 16 is co-hosted by Canada and the U.S., which want to demonstrate global solidarity against Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests. The latest round passed last month. "We will not have any difficulties, even if our enemies introduce sanctions for 10 or 100 years", Kim said, as quoted by North Korea's state news agency KCNA.




"Canada recognizes the essential role that China has to play in any diplomatic efforts in support of security and stability on the Korean Peninsula", department spokeswoman Amy Mills said in an emailed statement Wednesday evening.

It suggested Tuesday for a meeting with the South's three-member delegation led by Vice Minister Chun Hae-sung, to discuss the North's participation, the ministry said in a statement.

Hook also reiterated that the US has no plans to hold talks with North Korea during the Olympic period.

Earlier, a senior Seoul official said the South made a proposal to the North for both to form a united women's ice hockey team to participate in the Winter Olympics.


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