China today declared that it will limit the oil exports to North Korea under UN sanctions regarding its nuclear and missile development and will also reduce support from Pyongyang’s last major trading partner.
The commerce ministry today stated that the exports of refined petroleum to the North will now be limited to just 2 million barrels per year and sales of liquefied natural gas banned outright, effective January 1.
The ministry further informed that the textiles are one of the North’s last major sources of foreign revenue subsequent to repeated rounds of UN sanctions under which Beijing cut off purchases of coal, iron ore, seafood and other goods. On the other hand, China accounts for some 90 per cent of the North’s trade, and hence its cooperation is important to any efforts to derail Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
Chinese leaders had been the North’s diplomatic protectors for a long time but now convey mounting aggravation with the government of Kim Jong Un and have recently supported the latest rounds of UN Security Council sanctions, however they are unwilling to push Pyongyang too hard for fear the government might collapse. They also argue against doing anything that might hurt ordinary North Koreans.