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China trading more with North Korea but buying less coal

China trading more with North Korea but buying less coal

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. Despite that track record, the Trump White House displayed an initial optimism, presenting North Korea as an easily solvable problem with the help of Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom Trump had a friendly summit back in April.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang responded to the possible sanctions by reiterating the country's commitment to enforcing United Nations resolutions, adding that unilateral sanctions were outside the framework of this commitment.

"The president is losing patience with China", one official told Reuters.

Chinese purchases of North Korea iron ore rose 34 percent from a year earlier in the first five months of the year, according to a South Korean industry group, the Korea International Trade Association. What comments does China have on this?

"We will continue to strictly and earnestly implement the North Korea-related Security Council resolution in its entirety", said Geng at a regular news briefing.

Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to Washington, said on Monday that secondary sanctions were "not acceptable".

A Bank of Dandong branch in China.

The new measures would target Chinese small-and-medium sized financial institutions and shell companies suspected of "funneling cash" into Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. "We're not going to be paralysed into inaction".

Shortly after their meeting, Trump said he had told Xi that China would get a better trade deal if it reined in North Korea.

President Donald Trump last week criticized China for its ties with North Korea's government following the launch of a test missile, saying that China's economic interests undermined its ability to challenge President Kim Jong-un's totalitarian regime.

Reflecting growing concern about North Korea on Capitol Hill, two members of the US Senate Banking Committee, Democrat Chris Van Hollen and Republican Pat Toomey, announced on Wednesday they would soon introduce legislation for North Korea modelled on the Iran secondary sanctions laws passed by Congress.