China continues to buy N. Korean minerals despite U.N. ban

China continued its imports of North Korean minerals in the first quarter of this year despite a ban imposed by the United Nations.

China's port of Dandong, a hub of China-North Korea trade. (Yonhap file photo)

China's port of Dandong, a hub of China-North Korea trade. (Yonhap file photo)

A report said on Saturday, by a source from the Yonhap.

North Korean zinc valued at US$680,000 (about 775 million won) and silver worth $120,000 was shipped to China in the January-March period, Voice of America (VOA) reported, citing data from the Korea International Trade Association and China's customs office.

China also bought about $100,000 worth of copper from the North between January and February, the American broadcaster noted.

All U.N. member states are banned from importing North Korean minerals, including gold, silver, copper and zinc, under Security Council resolutions 2270 and 2321 implemented in retaliation for the North's nuclear and missile tests.

Complying with the resolutions, Beijing enforced an import ban for North Korean titanium, vanadium and rare earth metals beginning April 5 last year, with imports of other mineral resources from the North prohibited from Dec. 24 the same year.

VOA said it has yet to be confirmed whether the inflow of North Korean minerals into China in the first quarter was an administrative error or Beijing's intentional violation of the U.N. sanctions.

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