North Korean firms in China ordered to close by January

China said that it would be shutting North Korean firms or joint ventures in China, as well as any overseas joint ventures with North Koreans.
China said that it would be shutting North Korean firms or joint ventures in China, as well as any overseas joint ventures with North Koreans.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP, REUTERS) – China has ordered North Korean companies in the country to shut down by January as it applies UN sanctions imposed following Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test, the commerce ministry said on Thursday (Sept 28).

The ministry said the companies, including joint ventures with Chinese firms, have 120 days to close from the date the United Nations resolution was adopted, Sept 11.

The UN Security Council had voted unanimously to boost sanctions on North Korea, banning its textile exports and capping fuel supplies.

The announcement comes days after China confirmed that it will apply a limit on exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea starting Oct  1 and a ban on textiles from its neighbour.

The UN action was triggered by North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear test this month. It was the ninth Security Council sanctions resolution over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs since 2006.

China’s application of UN sanctions is particularly biting for North Korea. Beijing is Pyongyang’s main ally and trading partner, responsible for around 90 per cent of the hermit nation’s commerce.

The United States has pressed China to use its economic leverage to strongarm North Korea into giving up its nuclear ambitions.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Beijing this weekend for talks with China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.