North Korean laborers work beside the Yalu River at the North Korean town of Sinuiju on February 8, 2013 which is close to the Chinese city of Dandong. US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that North Korea's expected nuclear tests only increase the risk of conflict and would do nothing to help the country's stricken people. The country has vowed to carry out a third nuclear test soon, and concerns have been raised over the type of fissile material used in the device. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

China has announced it is suspending all coal imports from North Korea until the end of the year in a move which will deal a major financial blow to the Pyongyang regime. 
The surprise announcement by the Chinese Commerce Ministry is a sign of Beijing’s increasing reluctance to prop up the North Korean regime if it carries out further nuclear tests.
Coal is North Korea’s largest export item and it is believed to have been dependent on China for trade and aid since its economy collapsed in the late 1990s.
The Commerce Ministry said the move was China fulfilling its obligation to implement last November’s UN Security Council resolution to impose further economic sanctions on Pyongyang after it detonated its fifth nuclear test of 2016. 
Beijing has historically been more reluctant to impose sanctions on North Korea than other world powers because it is concerned about a power vacuum on its southern border if the regime …
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