China to enact UN sanctions as Pyongyang tests weapons

China to enact UN sanctions as Pyongyang tests weapons

Today marks the deadline for China to comply with UN security council sanctions punishing North Korea. Following Pyongyang’s missile launch

The border betweek North Korea and China

Photo: AFP

Today marks the deadline for China to comply with UN security council sanctions punishing North Korea. Following Pyongyang’s missile launch over Japan and a nuclear test in recent days, further measures appear likely.

The most recent round of sanctions, initiated last month, prohibit buying North Korean coal and iron. Importantly for Beijing, the measures also ban seafood imports; North Korea made $190 million last year selling the popular export to China. Altogether, the sanctions will cut off $1 billion in revenue to Pyongyang—a third of its total export revenue.

Though China is cooperating, with the Ministry of Commerce banning the sanctioned imports, Donald Trump may still punish Beijing for its continued trade with the hermit kingdom. The president has unrealistically threatened to cut off US trade with any country that does business with North Korea. For its part, Beijing is growing increasingly irritated by Pyongyang’s actions.

Even if Mr Trump does not take the harsh measures he threatens, his antagonising Beijing—recently tweeting China has had “little success” curbing Pyongyang—will make working together harder.