China rejects coal shipments from North Korea
A fleet of North Korean cargo ships laden with coal is returning to their home port of Nampo after China ordered its trading companies to refuse the shipments, Reuters reports quoting shipping data.
This appears to show China is committed to the ban on imports of North Korean coal after Pyongyang carried out globally criticized missile tests. Coal is the crucial export product of the isolated state, especially the deliveries of the type used for steel making – coking coal.
To curb coal traffic between the two countries, Chinese customs ordered companies to return their North Korean coal cargoes starting from April 7, according to Reuters sources.
Two million tons are stranded at Chinese ports; the agency reported quoting a source at Dandong Chengtai, one of China’s biggest buyers of North Korean coal.
To reduce the shortfall in coal imports, China resumed buying American coal this year. According to trade data, China bought over 400,000 tons by late February. The US did not export coking coal to China between late 2014 and 2016. However, President Donald Trump pledged to revive the country’s coal sector.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that following the missile strike again Syria, North Korea could be the next. Beijing and Washington have reportedly agreed to impose tougher sanctions against Pyongyang if it carries out nuclear or long-range missile tests.
President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that a trade deal between China and the US depends on how Beijing tackles North Korea.
“I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the US will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem! North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!” he posted.
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