China has said it has started to implement the new sanctions on North Korea agreed by the UN Security Council last month (see previous blog). The new UN sanctions, in Resolution 2270, were jointly drafted by the USA and China, and today China’s Ministry of Commerce published a corresponding list of banned exports to and imports from North Korea. The list bans imports of North Korean coal, iron, iron ore, gold, titanium ore, vanadium ore, and rare earth minerals, and bans exports to North Korea of aviation fuel, including kerosene-type rocket fuel, and any goods that could support nuclear or ballistic missile programmes. Certain derogations have been allowed, including an exception for imports of North Korean coal where the revenue is intended to be used strictly for “the people’s wellbeing” and, in some circumstances, for third-country goods that only pass through N Korea in transit.
This follows a meeting between the US and Chinese presidents in Washington, DC last week, after which President Obama announced that both countries were “committed to the denuclearisation of the Korea Peninsula” and President Xi stated that the new UN sanctions should be “fully and strictly” carried out. Today, China’s special representative for the Korean Peninsula met with his Japanese counterpart and agreed that they will be in “close consultation” on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear programme.