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S. Korea hails China's trade restrictions on N.K. as practical enforcement steps

All Headlines 18:19 April 07, 2016

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Thursday hailed China's announcement this week of restrictions on North Korean imports as part of the country's "practical steps" to fully enforce the latest package of U.N. sanctions on the reclusive state.

On Tuesday, Beijing announced a list of restrictions on imports from the North such as titanium and vanadium -- in line with the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) sanctions resolution that was adopted early last month in response to Pyongyang's nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch in February.

"On various occasions including the bilateral summit (on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit on March 31), China publicly mentioned its willingness to fully implement the UNSC sanctions resolution," Seoul's Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said during a press briefing.

"We assess the (announced) measures as China taking practical steps (to enforce the UNSC sanctions)."

Seoul and Washington have been calling on Beijing to faithfully enforce the international sanctions to cut Pyongyang's access to hard currency, which could be funneled to its nuclear and missile programs.

China is believed to be the most important player in the enforcement of sanctions on the North. The country accounts for nearly 90 percent of North Korea's foreign trade.

While announcing the trade restrictions, China, however, said it will continue to allow trade of resources for "livelihood purposes" if the revenues generated are not used for North Korea's weapons programs.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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