China announced Tuesday it will trash North Korea’s economy by no longer purchasing coal, iron ore and other commodities from its reclusive neighbor.
North Korea is deeply dependent upon trade with China, as commodities account for more than 40 percent of North Korea’s overall exports to the People’s Republic, according to customs data. China accounts for about 90 percent of the hermit kingdom’s trade, which it uses to purchase the vital food, weapons, fuel and hard currency needed to prop up its government. China imported 19.6 million metric tons of coal from North Korea last year.
China has agreed to stop buying gold, titanium, vanadium and rare earth imports from North Korea as well.
Similar pledges made by China in the past failed to stop rampant smuggling across the border, and North Korea has a long history of exporting coal and iron in violation of previous sanctions.