BEIJING — China’s gasoline and diesel exports to North Korea and iron ore imports from the isolated nation fell in August as trade continued to slow after the United Nations’ latest sanctions, customs data showed on Tuesday.
The release comes after data on Saturday showed China’s trade with North Korea jumped in August even after the U.N. sanctions, mainly driven by a rise in imports.
The data also showed China imported 1.6 million tonnes of coal from North Korea, the first since February when Beijing banned purchases of the fuel from its northern neighbor.
It was not immediately clear why the data showed shipments had resumed. A customs official said she would investigate the matter.
Last month, the U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea targeting its exports of coal, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. The sanctions took effect this month, but China enforced the new measures from Aug. 15.
China’s diesel exports to North Korea were 170 tonnes, compared with zero tonnes in August last year and gasoline shipments were 180 tonnes, down 96.3 percent from a year ago.
China announced last Saturday that it will limit oil exports to North Korea under U.N. sanctions over its nuclear and missile development, further reducing support from Pyongyang’s last major trading partner, energy supplier and diplomatically.
‘Situation on Korean Peninsula Very Dangerous’
The situation on the Korean peninsula is at a very dangerous stage, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told counterparts from the BRICS group of nations, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The urgent task is to prevent North Korea‘s nuclear and missile programs progressing and to avoid a further escalation in tensions and to especially prevent resorting to arms, Wang said, speaking in New York on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting.
Meanwhile, North Korea has boosted defenses on its east coast, a SouthKorean lawmaker said on Tuesday, after the North said U.S. President Donald Trump had declared war and that it would shoot down U.S. bombers flying near the peninsula.
South Korean lawmaker Lee Cheol-uoo, briefed by the country’s spy agency, said the reclusive North was in fact bolstering its defenses by moving aircraft to its east coast and taking other measures after U.S. bombers flew close to the Korean peninsula at the weekend.
Lee said the United States appeared to have disclosed the flight route of the bombers intentionally because North Korea seemed to be unaware.