North Korea’s exports of iron ore, lead and coal fall to their historic lows

While China had earlier continued to export gasoline and diesel to Pyongyang it has stopped doing so over concerns that North Korea will be unable to pay for the goods. Although export levels have dropped significantly, they are yet to stop.

On Tuesday, as per available data, China’s imports of lead concentrate, coal and iron ore from its ally North Korea fell to their lowest levels in more than six years, thanks to U.N sanctions which are aimed at isolating the dictatorial regime.

According to the data from General Administration of Customs, the value of the import of lead ore and concentrate weighing a total of 1,321 tonnes was worth $1.18 million, down by 84% from a year earlier.

Iron ore shipments have plunged by 98% to 3,035 tonnes which is worth around $55,000.

In 2016, China had imported 511,619 tonnes of coal, worth around $44 million, from North Korea, down 71.6% from a year earlier.

The data represents the final shipments allowed through customs before the clamping down of U.N. sanctions on September 5 which bans North Korea from selling its iron ore, coal, lead ore and seafood abroad.

With North Korea threatening to launch nuclear armed missiles over U.S. territory and Japan, the U.N. Security council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea.

China, North Korea’s only ally, has come under increasing pressure to rein in Pyongyang’s missile program.

Towards the end of June, diesel and gasoline shipments have been slow China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) suspended their sales over concerns that Pyongyang will be unable to pay for the goods.

As per sources familiar with the matter at hand, these measures are still in place.

Nevertheless, China continues to export gasoline and diesel in small quantities as it tries to extract the last penny from the North Korean regime.


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