Published: Thu, September 28, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Tillerson to discuss North Korea crisis, trade in China

Tillerson to discuss North Korea crisis, trade in China

Asked to explain the unexpected appearance of North Korean coal in the data, a customs official said he would refer the matter to the foreign ministry.

It will be Tillerson's second visit to China and comes amid escalating tensions between the US and North Korea.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to China this week for talks on how to defuse the perilous nuclear stand-off with North Korea.

The UN North Korea sanctions committee has scaled up a list of conventional arms dual-use items whose supply, sale or transfer to North Korea is wholly barred in compliance with Resolution 2371, adopted early last month in the wake of the North's ICBM tests, a U.S. broadcaster reported Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the US Treasury announced sanctions against 26 more individuals as part of its non-proliferation designations for North Korea, as well as nine North Korean banks, including some with ties to China.

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Nauert called China's steps to implement tougher United Nations sanctions on North Korea after its recent missile and nuclear tests "significant". "It makes me question not just why coal imports appear to be happening again but what was the real volume of imports in the months it reported there were none".

China-U.S. ties have been strained by Trump's criticism of China's trade practices and by demands that Beijing do more on North Korea.

On Aug. 14, China said it would allow any cargoes that were already at port to clear customs as usual before the United Nations sanctions came into force on September 5. Chinese coal imports from its neighbor this year remained below those limits after last month's shipments.

"I don't think this was an act of bad faith", he said, adding that it generated only a "modest amount of money" for North Korea that was unlikely to have a material impact on its nuclear program.

China resumed North Korean coal imports in August after a almost half-year hiatus, just before a total United Nations ban on Pyongyang's coal trade took effect.

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