China is imposing economic restrictions on North Korea in compliance with a new set of stronger United Nations sanctions over Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Beijing announced Tuesday that it will stop shipping aviation fuel to the North, and will stop imports of coal, gold, titanium and rare earth metals from its impoverished ally. China says it will make exceptions to the sanctions if materials are intended for civilian use, and not connected to the North's nuclear or missile programs.
The U.N. Security Council approved tougher sanctions on North Korea last month, including mandatory inspections of all cargo to and from the North and a ban on most of its mineral exports, which have been used to fund its nuclear development program. The sanctions were imposed after the North conducted a nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February.
China signed on to the stronger U.N. sanctions because it was angered by the North's continued nuclear weapon pursuits. Beijing has been reluctant in the past to impose sanctions on North Korea, fearing it will cause the regime to collapse and lead to a flood of refugees over its shared border.