Beijing, September 29: 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.
Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said imports that were reported in August trade data were allowed by a “grace period” for goods that arrived before the UN ban took effect. The imports are “in line with the resolution,” Gao said.
North Korean companies operate restaurants and other ventures in China, helping provide the country with foreign currency. North Korean laborers work in Chinese factories and other businesses.
The announcement comes days after China confirmed that it will apply another major part of the sanctions, a limit on exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea starting this Sunday and a ban on textiles from its neighbour.
In August, China banned North Korean firms and individuals from establishing new companies in its territory following a separate set of sanctions. China also has banned imports of North Korean coal, iron and lead ore, and seafood since early September.
China accounts for around 90 percent of North Korea’s trade, with the US government’s Energy Information Agency estimating that the North’s imports amount to 5.5 million barrels of crude and 2.2 million barrels of refined oil products every year.