China's trade with isolated North Korea rose more than 10 percent in the January-June period from a year earlier, a Chinese official said yesterday, amid pressure from the United States for Beijing to do more to rein in its erstwhile ally.
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. Numbers showing an increase are not evidence that China is failing to enforce United Nations resolutions, with imports from North Korea falling every month since March, Huang added.
North Korea has conducted 11 missile tests this year, despite worldwide condemnation.
"UN Security Council sanctions are not a total ban on shipments".
"Trade related to the people's livelihood in North Korea, especially if it embodies humanitarian principles, should not be affected by sanctions", said Huang at a separate news briefing.More news: 'Street Fighter 5' DLC Rumors: Abigail's Arrival Teased
China announced in February the suspension of coal imports from the North, striking a blow at a major source of income for the hermit state.
China suspended imports of North Korean coal in February, while imports of iron ore accord with relevant United Nations resolutions, he said.
A Chinese government official said Thursday that China-North Korea trade was worth $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, up about 10% over the same period past year. "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"
China has friendly relations with North Korea and trades with it, a point of contention with the US.