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China Limits Oil Trade to North Korea and Bans Textile Trade

China has moved to limit North Korea's oil supply and will stop buying textiles from the politically isolated nation, it said on Saturday. China is North Korea's most important trading partner, and one of its only sources of hard currency.

The ban on textiles trade will hurt Pyongyang's income, while China's oil exports are the country's main source of petroleum products.

The tougher stance follows North Korea's latest nuclear test this month.

The United Nations agreed fresh sanctions - including the textiles and petroleum restrictions - in response.

A statement from China's commerce ministry said restrictions on refined petroleum products would apply from 1 October, and on liquefied natural gas immediately.

Under the UN resolution, China will still be able to export a maximum of two million barrels of refined petroleum to North Korea annually, beginning next year.

North Korea is estimated to have imported 6,000 barrels of refined petroleum daily from China in 2016 - the equivalent of nearly 2.2 million in total for the entire year.

But China has not published data on oil exports since 2014.

The ban on textiles - Pyongyang's second-biggest export - is expected to cost the country more than $700m (£530m) a year.

Clothing has often partially been made in North Korea, but finished in China, allowing a Made in China label to be legally sewn onto the clothing, BBC World Service Asia-Pacific Editor Celia Hatton says.

China and Russia had initially opposed a proposal from the US to completely ban oil exports, but later agreed to the reduced measures.

North Korea has little energy production of its own, but does refine some petroleum products from crude oil it imports - which is not included in the new ban.

Source: BBC.com

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