China June Exports Rise as Global Trade Keeps Momentum (Correct)

China June exports imports higher than expected Reuters

China's overall imports from North Korea fell 13% compared to the first half of 2016, said Huang Songping, a spokesman for China's customs department.

He did not though make clear whether China believed North Korea's latest missile test last week, which the United States described as a first ICBM test, was of that type of missile.

But, after North Korea launched a missile technically capable of reaching the United States last week, Trump suggested he'd given up on China.

The General Administration of Customs released the June data without giving any percentage changes.

China's imports of coal totaled 2.68 million tons in the first half of the year, down 74.5 percent from the previous year.

The decline follows China's decision in February to ban all imports of North Korean coal.

Chinese purchases of North Korea iron ore rose 34 percent from a year earlier in the first five months of the year, according to a South Korean industry group, the Korea International Trade Association.

China insisted yesterday that it was abiding by United Nations sanctions on North Korea despite a jump in its trade with the nuclear-armed nation that comes amid growing U.S. calls for Beijing to rein in its neighbor.

US President Donald Trump later complained that trade had gone up between the countries after he had called on Beijing to use its diplomatic and economic clout over its neighbour to convince Pyongyang to drop its nuclear programme.

"Simple accumulated data can not be used as evidence to question China's severe attitude in carrying out UN Security Council resolutions", Huang told a news briefing.

On June 30, the US took steps to penalize a Chinese bank, a Chinese shipping company and two Chinese citizens it claimed worked to help North Korea evade sanctions.

Monthly figures were more representative of the trend and China's imports from North Korea had been "falling sharply for four consecutive months since March", he said, including by 36 percent in March and 42 percent in April. "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"

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