China Exports to North Korea Fall

    15 August, 2013


    From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

    Recent Chinese trade information shows that China's exports to North Korea decreased by more than 30 percent during the first six months of 2013. This is the first time in four years that exports have fallen. Exports decreased by about $1.6 billion from January to June, compared to the same period last year.

    The last time exports from China to North Korea dropped was in 2009, because of the world financial crisis. This year, there was a large decrease in shipments of unprocessed oil to North Korea.

    Lu Chao studies at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, based on government data, he says China is the biggest oil provider to North Korea. He said last year China exported 500,000 tons of oil to the country.

    Mr Lu says China place trade restrictions on North Korea this year, after its third nuclear test. He says the Chinese government made the decision based on a U.N. Security Council resolution.

    North Korea's decision to carry out its third nuclear test earlier this year has affected the relationship between the two countries.

    Following the test, Chinese students called on the government to completely cut ties with North Korea. Protesters denouncing what they felt was Chinese government acceptance of a nuclear test.

    However, Chinese officials have condemned the test. They have also repeatedly called for the continuation of six-nation talks aimed at ending the country's nuclear weapons program.

    In May, the government operated People's Bank of China announced it was no longer doing business with North Korea's foreign trade bank.
    Last week, China's Vice President Li Yuanchao visited North Korea for the first time since Kim Jong Un became North Korea's leader. The two were seen together, smiling and waving to crowds during ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

    Mr Lu says, although the Vice President visited North Korea, relations between the two countries are still developing. He says the old alliance is now turning into a normal friendly relationship between two countries.

    Recently, officials from the United States and South Korea met. They announced their plan to continue placing restrictions on North Korea, and to seek more assistance from China in the process.

    And that's the Economics Report from VOA Learning English.