N. Korean coal exports drop to zero in April: report

SEOUL-- North Korean coal exports dropped to zero in April, a United Nations report showed Sunday, as the international community puts pressure on the reclusive regime to give up its nuclear and long-range missile programs.

The sanctions committee under the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that oversees the enforcement of penalties slapped against Pyongyang, said there was no trade of the fossil fuel in the one month period.

The UNSC passed Resolution 2321 after the isolationist regime detonated its fifth nuclear device in early September.

Under the guidelines set by the international community, North Korea can only ship out 7.5 million tons of coal worth US$408.7 million this year. All United Nation members states are obliged to report transactions undertaken with the North on a monthly basis.

The committee said that in January, the North shipped out 1.44 million tons of coal, with numbers reaching 1.23 million tons and 6,300 tons in February and March, respectively. It said just one country, presumably China, imported coal from the North.

North Korea's trade with China made up 90 percent of external transactions, with coal and iron ore making up 40 percent of goods traded between the two neighboring countries.

As of April, the North coal shipments already reached 57 percent of its maximum export limit in terms of value for this year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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