As warmly as Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un on his first visit to Beijing last month, China appears to have kept up the pressure on North Korea.
China is keeping up the pressure on ‘Comrade’ Kim
The Chinese authorities said Sunday they would immediately ban exports to North Korea of items that could be used to develop weapons.
The list of 32 banned items includes particle accelerators, centrifuges and software related to weapon-making, according to a statement issued by China’s Ministry of Commerce, along with four other government bodies.
The export ban was part of the sanctions the United Nations imposed in September in reaction to North Korea’s sixth nuclear test earlier that month.
China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner, and plays a crucial role to the pariah state’s survival as it enters into denuclearization talks.
China’s move to impose the export ban on Tuesday signals that it won’t drop the pressure on North Korea despite a thaw in the two countries’ tensions.
When Kim visited Beijing last month, he was warmly received and referred to as “comrade” by the official Chinese news agency.
Kim is scheduled to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27. And US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he would meet with Kim next month or early June.
The Trump administration has called for a policy of “maximum pressure” on China, and Trump has accused China of not complying with all UN sanctions.
Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2017
As the US-North Korea summit looms, Beijing seems to have drastically reduced trade with North Korea, a further sign of its willingness to keep up the pressure on its neighbor and historical ally.