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China will restrict oil exports to and ban textile imports from North Korea, the commerce ministry announced today, as Beijing joined global efforts to enforce tighter UN Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang for its provocative nuclear and missile tests.

The ban on textile imports will be effective from today, it said.

Textiles are one of North Korea's last major sources of foreign revenue following repeated rounds of United Nations sanctions under which Beijing cut off purchases of coal, iron ore, seafood and other goods.

The news agency observed that considering the account freeze is certain to deal a great blow to the North Korean economy, China may have shifted to a policy of stronger pressure on the North as the regime continues its missile and nuclear development despite Beijing's call for restraint.

The Commerce Ministry said Saturday that China, the North's main trading partner and energy supplier, will limit supplies of refined petroleum products starting October 1.

The UN resolution states that starting next year, exports of the refined oil products such as gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oil, etc. will be capped at 2 million barrels annually.

China said on Saturday it will ban exports of some petroleum products to North Korea, as well as imports of textiles from the isolated North, to comply with a United Nations Security Council resolution.

China will suspend such exports once the total exports approaches the ceiling.

In August, China implemented another UNSC resolution against North Korea, which targeted some key revenue sources of the communist state - coal, iron, and seafood exports among other goods, depriving it of $1 billion annual foreign revenue.

President Donald Trump has put China at the forefront of US efforts to rein in North Korea's nuclear program. Trump, speaking during the U.N. General Assembly, called Kim "Rocket Man", and Kim threatened in a video to "tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire".

His comments came a day after he signed an executive order allowing Washington to ramp up sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear missile programme.

Also on Friday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said his country could consider a hydrogen bomb test on an unprecedented scale on the Pacific Ocean - a threat, Japan labelled as "totally unacceptable".


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