China’s exports to North Korea jumped 20.9% in first three quarters of 2017

China’s exports to North Korea jumped an annual 20.9 percent inside first three quarters of 2017, customs data showed.

via January to September, Asia’s largest economy exported $2.55 billion in value to the pariah state, the data showed, according to Reuters. Imports via North Korea during in which nine-month period actually fell 16.7 percent, according to the data, as well as so the total trade figure only saw a 3.7 percent increase, Reuters said.

Of note, both exports as well as imports between the two nations fell in September via the previous month, according to the data: Exports to North Korea sank via $315.97 million to $266.35 million, as well as imports via North Korea fell via $288.29 million to $145.82 million.

The figures come as much of the globe, including the United Nations, calls for tight economic sanctions on the rogue nation. The government in Pyongyang is actually paying for a rapidly expanding nuclear weapons program, as well as the idea has verbally threatened several countries with attack.

Last month, Beijing announced its intention to restrict trade with Pyongyang on several key items, including textiles, seafood as well as petroleum products, in compliance with U.N resolutions. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration has also banned mainland lenders via doing business with North Korean clients.

The rising pressure comes amid a tense war of words between North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un as well as President Donald Trump, which has stoked fears of military action on the Korean Peninsula. Last week, a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier conducted drills with South Korea’s navy in an exercise aimed at showing off Washington’s defense capabilities.

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