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China Defense Its Trade With NKorea    10/23 05:38

   BEIJING (AP) -- China on Monday defended its growing trade with North Korea 
as permitted by U.N. Security Council sanctions that say they should avoid 
hurting "humanitarian needs."

   China, the North's main trading partner, "strictly implements" sanctions 
aimed at stopping the North's pursuit of nuclear and missile technology, said a 
foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang.

   Customs data show Chinese exports to North Korea rose 31.4 percent in August 
from a year earlier, while imports fell 9.5 percent. Beijing has pointed out 
the sanctions don't prohibit food sales and argued against measures that might 
harm the North Korean public.

   The Security Council barred member governments on Aug. 5 from buying North 
Korean coal and seafood. Those penalties were expanded Sept. 11 to ban 
supplying the North with natural gas or buying its textiles after Pyongyang's 
sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion.

   "The Security Council pointed out that the relevant resolutions should not 
inflict negative impacts on the livelihood and humanitarian needs of North 
Korea," Geng said at a regular briefing.

   China, long North Korea's diplomatic protector, has gone along with the 
sanctions out of growing frustration with leader Kim Jong Un's government.

   Beijing also has cut into Pyongyang's foreign revenue by ordering North 
Korean-owned restaurants and other businesses and ventures with Chinese 
partners to close.

   One of five permanent Security Council members with veto power over U.N. 
actions, China doesn't want to push North Korea too hard out of fear Kim's 
government might collapse.


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