Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

China defends imports of North Korean iron ore

China defends imports of North Korean iron ore

The officials declined to name the target but said larger Chinese banks will remain untouched for now.

The U.S. was not impressed.

The text calls for kicking out from the USA banking system the businesses and financial institutions involved in a significant amount of trade in goods and services with the communist state, barring all North Korean-made products from entering the U.S. market, and sanctioning all firms engaged in labor exports.

One official said more than 10 Chinese firms could be targeted, much more than Trump reportedly shared with Xi when he hosted him at the president's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida back in April.

President Donald Trump last week criticized China for its ties with North Korea's government following the launch of a test missile, saying that China's economic interests undermined its ability to challenge President Kim Jong-un's totalitarian regime.

But Beijing, as it has in the past, largely resisted Trump's demands. But it is especially anxious about the collapse of the regime with which it shares a border, and fears both an influx of millions of North Korean refugees and the possibility of a unified Korea with US troops again at the Yalu River.

Flags of USA and China are placed for a meeting in Beijing on June 30.

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

China stopped importing North Korean coal but total trade has risen, which prompted Trump to complain last week Beijing is failing to use its economic leverage to stop Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons. He referred to "tough pressures" that China faces in its relationship with North Korea.

"Make no mistake, the Security Council's sanctions on [North Korea] can not be equated with all-encompassing economic sanctions".

The 68-year-old had come under fire for driving under the influence of alcohol in 1991 and for playing golf in his post-retirement years on anniversaries of such national tragedies as the sinking of the Cheonan warship and North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island. "The maintenance of normal economic and trade exchanges between China and [North Korea] does not violate Security Council's resolutions", the foreign ministry spokesman said.

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