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North Korea to take 'corresponding measures' if United Nations adopts sanctions

China defends imports of North Korean iron ore

"We hope all relevant sides can make sure that they are clear that Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea are not comprehensive economic sanctions".

According to Fox News, the Data Base Centre for North Korean Human Rights, which is based in Seoul, has reported that about 50,000 North Koreans have been sent to Russian Federation in order to make money for the regime in Pyongyang.

China insisted Thursday it was upholding UN sanctions on North Korea despite a jump in its trade with the nuclear-armed nation that comes amid growing USA calls for Beijing to rein in its neighbour.

In the first six months of this year, trade between China and North Korea increased 10.5 percent to $2.5 billion, compared to the same period last year, according to official figures from Beijing.

"Trade related to the people's livelihood in North Korea, especially if it embodies humanitarian principles, should not be affected by sanctions", said Huang at a separate news briefing. Iron ore is among China's biggest imports from the North after it stopped buying coal this year due to the sanctions.

At the same time, iron ore imports have surged between January and May to $74.4 million compared to $24 million over the same period previous year. They argue that pressure alone is insufficient to stop Pyongyang's nuclear work.

North Korea gets most of its fuel from China, with some coming from Russian Federation. "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said on Sunday that Washington would crank up pressure on China to ensure it implements sanctions over the missile test. USA ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned Security Council attendees that the "time is short" for diplomatic action, and that the Trump administration would be prepared to use considerable military preemptive forces if necessary. Their state media reported, "As a full-fledged nuclear power that has been possessed of the most powerful intercontinental ballistic rocket capable of hitting any part of the world, along with nuclear weapons, the DPRK [North Korea] will fundamentally put an end to the USA nuclear war threat and blackmail".

The targeting of clothes or textile manufacturers may be outside current parameters of US sanctions, but according to Kim Han-kwon, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy in South Korea, the move may be a response to North Korea's changing approach to earning foreign currency for the regime as Chinese restrictions have banned exports like coal, News 1 reported.