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China provides food, fertilizer to N. Korea despite UNSC sanctions

All Headlines 23:03 May 19, 2019

BEIJING, May 19 (Yonhap) -- China has provided rice and fertilizer to North Korea, Chinese data showed Sunday, amid U.N. Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against the North that prohibit any large-scale economic assistance.

According to data from China's customs office, Beijing provided 1,000 tons of rice, worth about US$1 million, to the impoverished North between May and October of 2018.

The data showed Beijing also provided 162,000 tons of fertilizer, worth more than $55 million, to the North.

The shipments of what appears to have been free assistance followed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's visit to China in March 2018, when he held his first summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Kim returned to China in May and June for his second and third summits with Xi.

Diplomatic sources in Beijing noted that North Korea still may have not been pleased with China's assistance.

"There have been rumors that President Xi may have provided free rice and fertilizer to North Korea amid three rounds of North Korea-China summits," a source said. "North Korea, however, may have not been satisfied with the amount provided in exchange for three summit meetings."

Humanitarian assistance may not be subject to approval under UNSC sanctions that prohibit any shipment of materials that could be used in the North's nuclear or missile programs.

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