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Report: China to block North Korea ships from returning home

Beijing is getting ready to enforce U.N. sanctions.

By Elizabeth Shim
Report: China to block North Korea ships from returning home
China is getting ready to enforce the U.N. sanctions on North Korea at its ports, like Qingdao, shown here, a major port in eastern Shandong Province. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

TOKYO, March 8 (UPI) -- China could soon be blocking the return of North Korean ships in Chinese ports from returning to their country of origin.

After supporting the adoption of a sanctions resolution in early March at the United Nations Security Council, China is getting ready to enforce the new laws at its ports, Japan's Sankei Shimbun reported Wednesday, local time.

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According to unidentified Chinese trade officials specializing in North Korea-China exchanges, any North Korean ships already docked at Chinese ports are to be banned from leaving for home, starting Thursday.

China has made other moves, including placing embargoes against North Korean ships entering Dandong, a border city that faces the Yalu River.

Chinese authorities are also tightening restrictions on remittances to North Korea, as all existing branches of North Korean banks in U.N. member states are to be closed within 90 days of the sanctions that passed on March 2.

Going forward, China is planning to enforce a comprehensive ban on trade involving North Korean ships, and according to the Sankei, China is taking the new approach in order to avoid criticisms from the international community.

South Korea also adopted financial and maritime sanctions against the North on Wednesday, and U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign into law additional North Korea sanctions as early as this weekend, Yonhap reported.

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The next round of sanctions could target third-country businesses, banks and governments that engage in illicit North Korea trade, according to a source in Washington who spoke to Yonhap on the condition of anonymity.

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