China claims cuts to North Korean imports in first half

This image captured from the State Department`s website shows spokeswoman Heather Nauert

This image captured from the State Department`s website shows spokeswoman Heather Nauert

Imports were up 17.2 percent year-on-year - compared with an expected increase of 14.5 percent - to $153.83 billion, lifting the trade surplus to $42.76 billion.

Reuters on Friday quoted senior usa officials as saying that the Trump administration, frustrated by China's insufficient efforts to rein in North Korea, could impose new sanctions within two weeks.

U.S. president Donald Trump has criticized China's ties with the North Korean government, saying its economic interests undermined its ability to challenge president Kim Jong-un's totalitarian rule.

South Korea suspended the operations at the industrial park, just on the North Korean side of their common border, where South Korean factories employed North Korean workers, a year ago after the North launched a rocket that put an object into orbit.

China is buying less from North Korea as it implements United Nations sanctions aimed at reining in the nuclear ambitions of Kim Jong Un, according to a customs official.

Chinese customs spokesman Huang Songping stated, "As neighbors, China and North Korea maintain a normal business and trade exchanges".

China's trade with North Korea rose more than 10 percent during the first half of the year despite pressure from the U.S. for Beijing to put further pressure on its troublesome neighbor.

The Chinese side countered, explaining that North Korean coal imports were halted from mid-February, with import value declining 30-40% starting in March.

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Among the blacklisted officials is the head of North Korea's overseas spying operations, senior members of North Korea's Workers' Party, and heads of trading firms that have funded North Korea's military program. It's unlikely that will be the case, and the real question is likely how long the United States can throw sanctions at smaller Chinese companies before it starts to impact what is ultimately America's largest trading partner.

"China has been constantly executing the UN Security Council resolution in a comprehensive, precise, earnest and strict way", Huang said.

With North Korea in the headlines recently as it continues to develop its nuclear weapon program, Rubio teamed up with U.S. Sens.

In spite of Trump's likely frustration with China, Trump called its president a "friend" and "great leader", for whom he had "great respect".

"A favorable response from North Korea can not be expected", the newspaper stated on Tuesday.

The two-day summit in Hamburg, Germany, wrapped up Saturday with a declaration that made no mention of North Korea, even though the meetings came just a few days after the regime test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile created to hit the continental U.S.

If North Korea seeks to drive a wedge between Seoul and Beijing, Pyongyang could conduct its sixth nuclear test on the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries in August, Ko said.

But many North Korea analysts suggest China will not take any action that could seriously undermine the regime because Beijing's top priority is stability.

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