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Rather than risk a violation of the coal cap limit, China is proactively clamping down on trade. According to KITA, China’s exports to North Korea came to US3 million in July, plunging 27.6 percent from the same month last year.

Last month’s decrease is the biggest drop in China’s exports to North Korea this year.

The Chinese province’s imports from North Korea are estimated to have dropped further in the second quarter when the sanctions began to bite, they added.North Korea fired a new intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) called the Pukguksong-2 on Sunday from an air base in the country’s northwestern province toward waters off its east coast.When the UN Security Council imposed the cap on coal trade, China was left with the question of how such a cap could be implemented. Is it able to track forward contracts or does it only know belatedly the level of coal trade after import figures come out?Other than the missile launch, one could suspect this is also a signal against the killing of Kim Jong-nam, who lived under Chinese protection.Yonhap: China’s commerce ministry said Saturday it will suspend the import of North Korean coal, apparently in response to the latest provocations made by Pyongyang. “As coal takes up a significant portion of Pyongyang’s trade with China, the decision is anticipated to have a significant impact on North Korea,” an expert on China said.