BEIJING – China said on Saturday that it will limit the supply of oil to North Korea as of Oct. 1, in accordance with the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, to pressure Pyongyang to halt its nuclear weapons and missile development programs.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce also announced in a press release a general ban on imports of North Korean textiles, one of the main sources of income for the country.
China said the measure was taken to apply Resolution 2375 of the UNSC that limits the import and export of some products with North Korea.
Although the limit on the supply of refined petroleum products will be enforced from Oct. 1, exports of natural gas and crude oil were banned with immediate effect.
The ministry statement did not provide figures about the current amount of refined petroleum exports to North Korea nor did it specify the quantity by which they will be reduced once the measure comes into effect.
The ministry said that some supplies would be continued to ensure that North Korean people could sustain themselves, but the use of petroleum for the ballistic missile program will be banned, in accordance with the UN sanctions.
The People’s Republic of China is Pyongyang’s main trading partner and traditionally its main political support, but in recent months it has accepted the approval of stricter sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council against the Kim Jong-un regime.
China has asked North Korea not to continue in the “dangerous direction” represented by its ballistic missile and nuclear testing and insisted on the need to pursue dialogue to reduce tensions in the region.