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China to Limit Oil Supply to North Korea

23 Sep 2017 4:24 am
Associated Press 

BEIJING--China announced Saturday that it would limit oil exports to North Korea under United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile development, further reducing support from Pyongyang's last major trading partner, energy supplier and diplomatic ally.

Exports of refined petroleum to the North will be limited to 2 million barrels a year and sales of liquefied natural gas banned outright, effective Jan. 1, the Commerce Ministry said. China doesn't disclose details of trade with the isolated country, so it wasn't immediately clear how large the possible reduction might be.

China also will ban textile imports from North Korea, the ministry said. Textiles are one of Pyongyang's last major sources of foreign revenue after repeated rounds of U.N. sanctions, under which Beijing cut off purchases of coal, iron ore, seafood and other goods.

China accounts for some 90% of North Korea's trade, making its cooperation critical to any efforts to derail Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

Chinese leaders were long the North's diplomatic protectors but express increasing frustration with the government of Kim Jong Un. They have supported the latest rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions, but are reluctant to push Pyongyang too hard for fear the government might collapse. They also argue against doing anything that might hurt ordinary North Koreans.

Petroleum exports for use in the North's ballistic-missile program or other activities are banned by U.N. sanctions, the Commerce Ministry said.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 23, 2017 00:24 ET (04:24 GMT)
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