BEIJING – China defended on Monday its commercial activities with North Korea on grounds that United Nations resolutions to pressurize Pyongyang into stopping its nuclear program did not affect its humanitarian needs.
The total bilateral trade between January and September amounted to $4.3 billion – a rise of 3.7 percent interannually – of which $2.55 billion corresponded to Chinese exports – representing a rise of 20.9 percent – according to the last data updated by the General Administration of Customs.
“As close neighbors, China and North Korea maintain normal relations and the cooperation,” said spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Geng Shuang at a press conference.
“China always implements North Korea-related Security Council resolutions in their entirety,” added Geng.
However, he recalled, that the “Security Council pointed out that the relevant resolutions should not inflict negative impacts on humanitarian needs of North Korea.”
China, a historic ally and main trading partner of North Korea, along with other members of the UN Security Council approved several sanctions on the Pyongyang regime for its frequent nuclear and ballistic tests causing tension in the region throughout this year.
In September, China announced the closure of North Korean companies present in the country, the general ban on North Korean textile imports and the limitation of oil supply.
Official customs data also point out that Chinese exports to North Korea fell by 6.9 percent in September, while imports plummeted by 37.9 percent, especially products such as coal, iron ore and textiles.