China's trade with North Korea sinks in October after United Nations sanctions

Randolph Lopez
November 24, 2017

North Korea, however, deals commercially with China on a number of different levels, including trade across the river that is technically illegal. That would close one of the widest loopholes in the efforts to isolate the regime.

President Donald Trump Monday declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, a spot on a USA blacklist Pyongyang had shed almost a decade ago. Instead, the North Korean media has denounced President Trump in often insulting language to which Trump has responded in twitter messages insulting Kim Jong-Un.

The US government is also doing well to encourage other countries to join in.

Mr Trump told reporters on Monday the decision "should have happened years ago" and demanded Pyongyang: "end its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile development".

USA diplomats responsible for negotiating with the North Koreans in previous years were by and large supportive of strong sanctions - and also of calling North Korea a "terror state".

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So far, five countries - Mexico, Peru, Kuwait, Spain and Italy - have kicked out North Korean ambassadors.

It said the USA action shows North Korea should continue to "keep the treasured nuclear sword in our hands more tightly" to protect itself from American hostility. The administration has worked to cut worldwide trade ties with the totalitarian nation. On Tuesday the U.S. unveiled its fresh sanctions which also targeted North Korean shipping, raising the pressure on the North to abandon its nuclear programme.

The UN is investigating seven African countries for possible violations of its sanctions on North Korea, such as commissioning construction projects and buying arms. China sent a special envoy, Song Tao, to the North last week but his four-day trip ended with no direct statement on the crisis, after Pyongyang's series of nuclear and missile tests triggered global alarm.

That could be a message that Kim was displeased with what China has been doing over the crisis - including Beijing's participation in the United Nations sanctions - and that he would remain as defiant as ever against the global pressure and even China's advice. But for now, putting up pressure to an unprecedented level - Trump indicated that the level would be the highest in two weeks - while leaving the door to dialogue open is the sole viable means to take on the Kim regime.

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