China curbs oil product exports to N. Korea

by BLOOMBERG

BEIJINGChina slapped fresh sanctions on North Korea, curbing some oil product exports to the country, after US President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions last week.

China halted the outbound shipment of condensate and liquefied natural gas to North Korea from Saturday, and will limit exports of refined oil products from Oct 1, the Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) said in a statement published last Friday. The world’s second-largest economy, which is North Korea’s largest trading partner and its main ally, also banned imports of textiles from the country, according to the statement.

The government acted after Trump ordered new sanctions on individuals, companies and banks doing business with North Korea, as he sought to further isolate the regime and increase economic pressure as a way to curb its weapons programmes. The People’s Bank of China in a statement on Sept 11 said it had instructed lenders and other financial entities to suspend accounts subject to sanctions under a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution.

Under the terms of the resolution, member countries should cap refined oil-product exports to North Korea at 500,000 barrels from Oct 1 to Dec 31, and annual shipments should be limited to no more than two million barrels from Jan 1, 2018, according to a Mofcom statement.

Kim Jong-un responded to Trump’s remarks at the UN General Assembly in a statement on state media, calling the president “mentally deranged” and threatening to take the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history”. — Bloomberg