BEIJING — China’s foreign ministry has defended its purchase of North Korean iron ore and says it is enforcing sanctions imposed in hopes of stopping the North’s nuclear weapons development.
A ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said Thursday the imports are allowed under U.N. sanctions and generate no profit for North Korea’s weapons program.
Geng said China will “strictly and earnestly implement the North Korea-related Security Council resolution in its entirety.”
Iron ore is one of China’s biggest imports from North Korea after Beijing stopped buying coal this year under the sanctions.
That has prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to accuse Beijing of failing to use its leverage, as the North’s only major trading partner, to stop the nuclear weapons program.