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Iran Press TV

China orders North Korean companies to close over UN sanctions

Iran Press TV

Thu Sep 28, 2017 01:59PM

China has ordered North Korean companies operating in the country to close down as Beijing begins to implement the United Nations sanctions adopted against Pyongyang over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month.

China's Commerce Ministry said Thursday that companies representing North Korea in China, either owned by Pyongyang or operating as joint ventures, would have 120 days from the UN's September 11 resolution to cease their activities in China.

China said a few days ago that it would enforce other sanctions adopted by the UN after North Korea's nuclear test on September 3. The punitive measures include imposing a cap on the exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea as of October 1 and banning imports of textiles from Pyongyang.

North Korean officials have yet to comment on China's new bans, which are expected to be biting as Pyongyang relies significantly on Beijing as an ally in economic and security issues. China is North Korea's biggest trading partner as it accounts for around 90 percent of the country's commerce.

The bans also come against a backdrop of claims by US President Donald Trump that China has failed to pile up enough pressure on North Korea to force it to abandon its nuclear and missile programs. Beijing has rejected the claims, saying the US is wrong about China's level of influence over North Korea.

Some Chinese banks have even gone beyond the new UN sanctions by declaring that they have suspended financial transactions for North Koreans.

However, China is hugely worried that an increasingly bellicose rhetoric between North Korea and the US could spark a full-fledged confrontation in the region. While Beijing has imposed sanctions on Pyongyang, it has repeatedly called on the two sides of the conflict to avoid provocations and has sought to engage North Korea in dialogue.

"Sanctions and the promoting of talks are both the requirements of the UN Security Council. We should not overemphasize one aspect while ignoring the other," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Thursday, adding, "We are opposed to any war on the Korean Peninsula, and the international community will never allow a war (which would) plunge people into an abyss of misery."

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