China bans exports to North Korea of weapons-related goods

MarketsAssociated Press

China has banned exports to North Korea of electronics and other goods that can be used in making weapons, tightening U.N. sanctions imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development.

The ban covers "dual use" industrial components, metal alloys and other materials that can be used in both civilian products and weapons, according to a Commerce Ministry statement issued late Sunday.

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The U.N. Security Council has steadily tightened trade restrictions as leader Kim Jong Un's government pressed ahead with nuclear and missile development in defiance of foreign pressure.

Beijing was long Pyongyang's diplomatic protector but has supported the U.N. sanctions out of frustration at what Chinese leaders see as their neighbor's increasingly reckless behavior.

China accounts for nearly all of the isolated North's trade and energy supplies.

The latest ban includes components, software and tools for aircraft manufacturing, carbon fiber, high-voltage and high-temperature equipment, and tools for mixing and measuring chemicals.

Beijing previously imposed limits on oil sales and cut deeply into the North's revenue by banning purchases of its coal, textiles and seafood. North Korean businesses in China were ordered to close and migrant workers were sent home.

Despite the loss of almost all trade, the impoverished North has pressed ahead with weapons development that Kim's regime sees as necessary for its survival in the face of U.S. pressure.

China has steadily increased economic pressure on Pyongyang while calling for dialogue to defuse the increasingly acrimonious dispute with U.S. President Donald Trump's government.

Chinese leaders have resisted previous U.S. demands for an outright oil embargo but went along with imposing limits.