China's trade with North Korea tumbles over United Nations sanctions

China's trade with North Korea tumbles over United Nations sanctions

Responding to such concerns on Thursday, Brian Hook, the director of policy planning within the U.S. State Department, said the meeting is focused on United Nations sending states only, but key regional players like neighbours China and Russian Federation are being kept apprised.

North Korea's first talks with South Korea in more than two years turned tense Tuesday, after representatives of President Moon Jae-in proposed discussions with Kim about giving up his nuclear weapons program.

The meeting in Vancouver on January 16 is co-hosted by Canada and the United States, which want to demonstrate worldwide solidarity against Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests.

Despite U.S. President Donald Trump saying in a tweet he thought this is a sign that UN-approved economic sanctions against North Korea are working, Hook said Thursday, "it was largely limited to the Olympics" and "I don't read much beyond it, other than that".


Some countries, even friends of the United States, may be concerned that such methods could increase military tensions or be interpreted as an act of war by the isolated North.

"We will be discussing with our partners and allies the kind of steps that we can take on maritime interdiction and also to be cutting, disrupting funding and disrupting resources", he said. China and Russian Federation, which both oppose the proposal for maritime interdiction, have not been invited to the summit. The so-called Vancouver Group is formed by the countries that fought in the 1950-53 Korean War.

But Hook said Washington remained in contact with China about enforcing the sanctions and pressuring Kim, and that both Beijing and Moscow would be briefed after the talks. In addition to reducing trade, China has also severed business ties, restricted financial transactions, kicked out workers, and closed down companies. "This ministerial will enhance and strengthen all of the efforts underway to achieve our policy goals".

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