BBC Chinese recently reported that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on February 18 that it will ban coal imports from North Korea. China’s announcement explained that this ban was to implement UN Resolution 2321. The ban will remain effective until the end of this year. Observers around the world expressed the belief that this Chinese ban is the response to North Korea’s missile launch on February 12. It may also be the answer to the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s brother Kim Jong Nam in Kuala Lumpur on February 13. This new coal ban is a very important development since coal is the single most critical export product of North Korea and China has bought nearly all North Korean coal exports. The income from coal exports is considered an important pillar of North Korea’s economy. Previously, China promised to implement the UN resolution only under the condition that the sanction should not have a damaging impact on the civilian population of North Korea.
Source: BBC Chinese, February 18, 2017