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The US Puts More Pressure On China Over North Korea

16 July 2017

But the Trump administration's patience grew even thinner last week after Pyongyang conducted its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile believed to be capable of striking the U.S. But try as he might on Twitter or in person, President Donald Trump hasn't persuaded China to keep Kim Jong Un's regime from testing missile after missile during his first six months in office.

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

Now, the Trump administration is reportedly considering a fresh round of sanctions against small Chinese financial firms and shell companies that conduct business with North Korea, two senior USA officials told Reuters.

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He pointed to a 13.2 percent 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. "Trade related to DPRK people's livelihood, especially those that reflect humanitarianism should not be influenced by the sanctions", Huang said.

At the same time, iron ore imports have surged between January and May to $74.4 million compared to $24 million over the same period previous year.

China's imports of coal totaled 2.68 million tons in the first half of the year, down 74.5 percent from the previous year.

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Trump acknowledged as much at a July 12 press availability held aboard Air Force One on the way to France to celebrate Bastille Day.

The Chinese customs department released figures showing a 29 percent spike in Chinese exports to North Korea.

"If Trump were to give up on Chinese support in terms of containing North Korea, then there's a risk of increased trade tensions between the USA and China, which could negatively impact China's overall export performance", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.

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The US Puts More Pressure On China Over North Korea