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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

Chinese ministries ban military-type exports to N.Korea

People's Daily Online

(Global Times) 08:46, January 26, 2017

China has released a list of goods that are banned for export to North Korea on Wednesday, including items and technologies that can be used to build weapons of mass destruction, according to the Ministry of Commerce(MOC) website.

Expert said that it shows China's resolution to comply with the UN sanctions and serves as a warning to North Korea not to conduct a nuclear test during the Chinese New Year as it did in 2016.

The list contains detailed items and technologies with possible civilian and military use. The items include materials and equipment to develop nuclear missiles and chemical weapons, software related to rockets or drones, high-speed video cameras, submarines, sensors, telecommunications devices and lasers.

The list was jointly released by the MOC, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, the China Atomic Energy Authority and the General Administration of Customers.

The list was meant to comply with the requirements of UN sanctions imposed in November in response to North Korea's fifth and largest nuclear test in September. The list was put into effect on Wednesday.

"[This] shows China's attitude on the North Korea nuclear issue. And it is also a warning for the North Korean side not to conduct another round of nuclear testing during China's Spring Festival this year," Jin Qiangyi, director of Asia Research Center, Yanbian University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

North Korea launched an Unha-type rocket southward on February 7, 2016. China's Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin summoned North Korean ambassador to lodge a formal protest over the launch, the People's Daily reported.

Jin said that the list may strike a blow to North Korea's military industry, which mainly depend on imports, but to what extent it would push the North Korean government to give up nuclear tests remains unknown.

"Our purpose is to persuade the North Korean side to go back to the negotiation table or take measures to reform. And we should also pay attention to the livelihood of the North Korean people," said Jin.

In response to Pyongyang's fifth and largest nuclear test in September, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted in its Resolution 2321 "the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions" to slash North Korea's coal exports by 60 percent with an annual sales cap of $400.9 million, or 7.5 million metric tons, beginning January 1, 2017.

According to Reuters, US officials said last week they had seen indications that North Korea may be preparing for a new missile test-launch. A launch could be an early test of the administration of President Trump, who was sworn in on January 20. Trump's defense secretary, James Mattis, planned to visit Japan and South Korea next week, choosing the two US allies for his debut trip abroad as Pentagon chief.

Jin said that China's efforts to deal with the North Korean nuclear issue would help dispel some concerns in South Korea, bringing some possibilities for its decisions on the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system.

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