China resumed North Korean coal imports in August after a nearly half-year hiatus, just before a total United Nations ban on Pyongyang’s coal trade took effect. China had suspended purchases of North Korean coal in February, in response to a UN-set cap on Pyongyang’s coal trade set last November, part of sanctions to curb North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Chinese coal imports from its neighbor this year remained below those limits after last month’s shipments. Chinese customs data released Tuesday shows China accepted about 1.64 million tons of North Korean coal worth some $138.1 million in August, when the UN Security Council expanded sanctions to a complete halt on coal shipments and banned Pyongyang from exporting iron, lead and seafood, The Wall Street Journal reports. The latest coal shipments preceded a Sept. 5 deadline for UN members to implement the August sanctions. Beijing said on Aug. 14 it would comply with those sanctions.
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