In Summary

  • China announced in February the suspension of coal imports from the North.
  • Trump administration angered China last month by imposing sanctions on a Chinese bank.

BEIJING

China insisted Thursday it was abiding by UN sanctions on North Korea despite a jump in its trade with the nuclear-armed nation that comes amid growing US calls for Beijing to rein in its neighbour.

Sino-US relations have soured in recent weeks as President Donald Trump has urged Beijing to step up diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea over its nuclear ambitions.

Tensions rose after North Korea's test this month of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the US mainland.

Despite Washington's calls for action, trade between China and its neighbour increased 10.5 per cent to $2.5 billion in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year, including a 29.1 per cent jump in exports.

SANCTIONS

But customs administration spokesman Huang Songping said Beijing was upholding the UN sanctions against the regime of Kim Jong-Un.

"Simple accumulated data cannot be used as evidence to question China's severe attitude in carrying out UN Security Council resolutions," Huang told a news briefing.

He pointed to a 13.2 per cent drop in imports from North Korea in the same period as an example of the pressure, adding that there have been sharp decreases every month since March.

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