Oct. 12 (UPI) -- China says its compliance with international sanctions has had a significant impact on trade with North Korea.
According to Beijing's customs office on Friday, Chinese exports to North Korea totaled $1.6 billion, from January to September 2018, or down 59.2 percent from the previous year, state paper Global Times reported.
Li Kuiwen, a spokesman for the customs office, said $144.6 million worth of North Korea imports into China also fell 90.1 percent from January to September.
The spokesman attributed the reduction in trade with North Korea to China's implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions resolutions.
China as a U.N. member state was following up on its obligations, Li said.
The statistics from the Chinese government come at a time when North Korea is denying the impact sanctions have had on its economy.
"Place sanctions on us for 10 years, even 100 years," Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Friday in an article titled, "This is the spirit of high-class pride and self-reliance."
"The enemy is using the blockade of murderous sanctions as a method of last resort, for fear of the complete collapse of their policy of crushing Korea with military power," the Rodong stated.
The paper added North Korea will gradually overcome sanctions to emerge as "the most powerful nation" and as a "socialist Shangri-La."
The paper also charged "the enemy" of placing sanctions on technology.
"Our response is to develop our style of breakthroughs in state-of-the-art technologies," the Rodong stated.