Japan to warn of greater threat from North Korea in new report

AP Explains Why is SKorea pushing for talks with NKorea

"After North Korea's frequent missile tests including its very first ICBM test, the global community has vowed to tighten sanctions and China simply can not exclude itself from the recent movement, although it probably does not want to indefinitely cut off fuel sales to the North", Kang said. The U.S. measures would initially hit Chinese entities considered "low-hanging fruit", including smaller financial institutions and "shell" companies linked to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, said one of the officials, while declining to name the targets.

At the same time, iron ore imports have surged between January and May to $74.4 million compared to $24 million over the same period past year.

Japan supports new sanctions but also maintains that Russian Federation and China must do more to fully implement the current set of measures targeting their economic ties with North Korea.

But foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said United Nations resolution 2321 allows imports of iron and iron ore if the income is for the livelihood of civilians.

Autonomous restrictive measures amount to sanctions separate from those called for by the UN Security Council.

Chinese imports of North Korean coal in the first half fell 75 percent to 2.7 million tons from a year earlier following the suspension in February, according to Huang Songping, a Customs agency spokesman. "Trade related to DPRK people's livelihood, especially those that reflect humanitarianism should not be influenced by the sanctions", Huang said. The move came as part of the global pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programs.

China stopped importing North Korean coal but total trade has risen, which prompted Trump to complain last week Beijing is failing to use its economic leverage to stop Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons. "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"

Ministers say they are concerned about the recent missile launch.

According to Reuters, Chinese state-owned oil major CNPC has suspended diesel and gasoline sales to North Korea during the last month or two.

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