China trading more with North Korea but buying less coal

North Korea warns US bombing drills risk pushing peninsula to 'tipping point'

Notably, China Customs said its first-half coal and iron ore imports from North Korea were in line with U.N. Security Council resolutions.

85 percent - were women.

"The US continues to look at those as ways to try to shut down the money that is illegally going to North Korea, that we believe - we firmly believe - that it goes to fund its illegal weapons programs". "The maintenance of normal economic and trade exchanges between China and [North Korea] does not violate Security Council's resolutions", the foreign ministry spokesman said.

Last week US President Donald Trump denounced China's trade with North Korea, saying it had grown nearly 40 percent in the first quarter, and cast doubt on whether Beijing was helping to counter the threat from North Korea.

The Trump administration is weighing news sanctions on small Chinese banks and shell corporations linked to North Korea, Reuters reported Thursday.

More news: NIA to probe recovery of explosive in UP Assembly

China's trade with isolated North Korea rose more than 10 percent in the January-June period from a year earlier, a Chinese official said yesterday, amid pressure from the United States for Beijing to do more to rein in its erstwhile ally. He referred to "tough pressures" that China faces in its relationship with North Korea. 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.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Geng said: "Recently, certain people, talking about the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, have been exaggerating and giving prominence to the so-called "China responsibility theory".

"I think this either shows lack of a full, correct knowledge of the issue, or there are ulterior motives for it, trying to shift responsibility", he added.

However Chinese officials have previously expressed their disdain for North Korea's provocative actions.

It is noted that China has been angered by North Korea's repeated nuclear and missile tests but it also blames the United States and South Korea for worsening tension with their military exercises, and for the deployment of the US THAAD missile defense system.

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