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China trading more with North Korea but buying less coal

China trading more with North Korea but buying less coal

But North Korean authorities are saying, "after two years, the global situation will become more favorable for North Korea", the sources said.

China, North Korea's most important economic partner, has been increasing restrictions against North Korean activity in the country.

Despite Washington's calls for action, trade between China and its neighbour increased 10.5 percent to $2.5 billion in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year, including a 29.1 percent jump in exports.

China announced in February the suspension of coal imports from the North, striking a blow at a major source of income for the hermit state.

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Geng: China and North Korea are neighbors, the two countries maintain normal trade and commerce dealings.

The overall rise in trade has been driven by China's exports to North Korea, which were up by almost 30% in the first half of the year. North Korean men who try to leave are likely to be rapidly identified as absent by their work units. Previous Chinese customs data showed two-way trade with the North had risen 30.6 percent in dollar terms in the first three months of the year.

Sanctions are also the measure with the greatest potential to rankle Beijing, which considers unilateral sanctions a violation of national sovereignty and fears the economic disruption that sanctions might cause. The sanctions come after a series of missile tests by North Korea.

The new data reflects China's attempt to pull off a delicate balancing act between the USA and North Korea, where it wants to prevent the regime collapsing because it worries about what that would mean for regional stability.

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But Beijing, as it has in the past, largely resisted Trump's demands.

The number of North Koreans escaping to the South declined sharply in the first half of this year as Pyongyang strengthened controls on its border with China, officials said Wednesday.

"The new figures that the customs bureau have put out today suggest [they] have made an effort, at least on paper", he added.

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