North Korea exported no coal in April, according to a report released by the UN Security Council, with China now displaying their commitment to comply with sanctions as North Korea continues to conduct nuclear tests and missile launches.
Coal exports are North Korea’s primary source of foreign currency which is used to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile development.
North Korea exported 1.23 million tons of coal in February which was then followed by a decline to 6,342 in March.
In March 2016, all UN member states were prohibited from obtaining North Korean coal. However, China had continued its purchases through a loophole, which allowed coal imports if proceeds were for “livelihood purposes of DPRK [North Korea] Nationals.” But with tensions escalating, it seems even China is now toughening its stance.
The US has been urging China, to pursue more pressure as Pyongyang has elevated its weapons program.
Currently, North Korea is exporting about 7.5 million tons a year ($400 million).