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North Korea sanctions

China bans new joint ventures with North Koreans to comply with UN sections

Curbs follow earlier ban on exports prompted by Pyongyang’s missile tests

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 August, 2017, 11:35am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 August, 2017, 11:40pm

Beijing has banned individuals and enterprises from opening new joint venture companies with North Koreans in China, in line with UN Security Council sanctions.

A notice issued by the Ministry of Commerce late on Friday said new joint venture enterprises, new wholly owned businesses and the expansion of existing entities involving North Korean individuals or companies would be banned with immediate effect.

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The notice said the ministry would not approve applications for Chinese new or expanded investment in North Korea by Chinese companies.

The United Nations Security Council approved new sanctions against Pyongyang on August 6 over its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

The sanctions are expected to reduce the reclusive state’s US$3 billion annual export revenues by a third.

In compliance with the sanctions, the commerce ministry this month said imports on coal, iron, iron ore and seafood from North Korea would be banned.

Experts said the ban would hit North Korean economy, but will not be sufficient to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

On Saturday South Korea’s military said the North had fired three missiles into the sea off the coast of its Kangwon Province.

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The amount of North Korean investment in China is small, and has declined in recent years. Figures from the commerce ministry indicated that the figure had dropped from US$11.2 million in 2010 to US$290,000 in 2014, and then to just US$70,000 in 2015.

The 2015 tally marked the lowest level since 1997, according to the Korea International Trade Association in Seoul.

Pyongyang had accumulated investment of US$116 million by the end of 2015 in 629 projects in China.

Its main investments were in restaurants, it has set up over 100 nationwide, including 26 in Beijing, the trade association said in a report last year.

Mainland media reported that other investment also include hotel and property development joint ventures as well trading branches in Liaoning province which adjoins North Korea.