China Orders North Korean Businesses Closed by January

Military vehicles carry missiles with characters reading 'Pukkuksong' during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Military vehicles carry missiles with characters reading 'Pukkuksong' during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
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China Orders North Korean Businesses Closed by January

Military vehicles carry missiles with characters reading 'Pukkuksong' during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Military vehicles carry missiles with characters reading 'Pukkuksong' during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

China on Thursday ordered North Korean-owned businesses to shut down by January, cutting foreign revenue for the isolated North under UN sanctions imposed over its nuclear and missile programs.

North Korean businesses and ventures with Chinese partners must close within 120 days of the Sept. 11 approval of the latest sanctions, according to the Ministry of Commerce. That would be early January.

China is North Korea's main trading partner, making Beijing's cooperation essential to the success of sanctions imposed in an effort to top the North's pursuit of weapons technology. China has long been North Korea's diplomatic protector but has gone along with the latest penalties out of growing frustration with leader Kim Jong Un's government.

The latest round of sanctions approved by the UN Security Council ban member countries from operating joint ventures with North Korea.

The sanctions also ban sales of natural gas to North Korea and purchases of the North's textile exports, another key revenue source. They order other nations to limit fuel supplies to the North.

North Korean companies operate restaurants, trading outfits and other ventures in China, helping to provide the North with foreign currency.

China, which provides the bulk of North Korea's energy supplies, announced Saturday it would cut off gas and limit shipments of refined petroleum products, effective Jan. 1. It made no mention of crude, which makes up the bulk of Chinese energy supplies to North Korea and is not covered by the UN sanctions.

China also has banned imports of North Korean coal, iron and lead ore, and seafood since early September.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce defended its recent imports of North Korean coal as permitted by UN sanctions.

A ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said imports that were reported in August trade data were allowed by a "grace period" for goods that arrived before the UN ban took effect.

The imports are "in line with the (UN) resolution," Gao said.



G7 Leaders Focus on Ukraine War, China in Italian Summit

Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary policemen, patrol at a roadblock near Borgo Egnazia, venue of the G7 summit in southern Italy, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary policemen, patrol at a roadblock near Borgo Egnazia, venue of the G7 summit in southern Italy, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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G7 Leaders Focus on Ukraine War, China in Italian Summit

Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary policemen, patrol at a roadblock near Borgo Egnazia, venue of the G7 summit in southern Italy, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary policemen, patrol at a roadblock near Borgo Egnazia, venue of the G7 summit in southern Italy, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Group of Seven (G7) leaders start their annual summit on Thursday looking to double down on support for Ukraine in its war with Russia and offer a united face in confronting China's political and economic ambitions.
With the Middle East, migration and artificial intelligence (AI) also on a packed agenda, the June 13-15 summit in southern Italy would be taxing for leaders at the best of times, but most of them are also bowed down by their own domestic woes, said Reuters.
US President Joe Biden, facing a tough re-election bid in November, arrived in Italy the day after his son Hunter Biden was convicted of lying about his drug use to illegally buy a gun.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appears destined to lose power in a July 4 election, the leaders of France and Germany are reeling from political defeats, and opinion polls are bleak for the prime ministers of Canada and Japan.
Only the host, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, is riding high after triumphing in Italy's European election last weekend, but achieving meaningful results in the luxury Borgo Egnazia hotel resort will be a tall order.
Determined to claim the initiative, the G7 leaders look likely to announce they have agreed on plans to issue $50 billion of loans for Ukraine using interest from frozen Russian assets to back the multi-year debt package.
However officials acknowledge the plan is complex, meaning any deal will only be in principle, with legal experts still having to thrash out the details that will need the backing of European nations, particularly Belgium, which is not in the G7.
For a second year running, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will attend the summit and is due to sign a new, long-term security accord with Biden.
"By signing this we'll also be sending Russia a signal of our resolve. If (Russian President) Vladimir Putin thinks he can outlast the coalition supporting Ukraine, he's wrong," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.
CONFRONTING CHINA
Underscoring US determination to punish Moscow for its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Washington on Wednesday dramatically broadened sanctions on Moscow, including by targeting China-based companies selling semiconductors to Moscow.
By announcing new restrictions on Chinese firms on the eve of the G7 meeting, Biden is no doubt hoping to persuade Western allies to show greater resolve in confronting Beijing over its support for Russia and its industrial over-capacity.
The European Commission told automakers on Wednesday it would impose extra duties of up to 38.1% on imported Chinese electric cars from July, less than a month after Washington quadrupled duties for Chinese EVs to 100%.
While G7 leaders are expected to express concern over high Chinese production levels, which they say disrupt global supply chains and market stability, EU diplomats warn that Europe is anxious to avoid a full-blown trade war with Beijing.
The G7 has thrown open its doors to a large number of outsiders this year, including Pope Francis, who is expected to give a keynote speech on Friday on both the risks and potential of AI.
Among those who have also been invited to Puglia are the leaders of India, Brazil, Argentina, Türkiye, Algeria and Kenya.
Although the summit is scheduled to run until Saturday, many G7 chiefs will leave on Friday night, including Biden, meaning the final day has been earmarked for bilateral meetings for those staying on and a final news conference from Meloni.