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Chinese Exports to North Korea Fell During First Half of 2013

From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report. Recent Chinese trade information shows that China's exports to North Korea decreased by more than 13 percent during the first six months of 2013. This is the first time in 4 years that exports have fallen. Exports decreased by about $1.6 billion from January to June compared to the same period last year. The last time exports from China to North Korea dropped was in 2009 during the world financial crisis. This year, there was a large decrease in shipments of unprocessed oil to North Korea.

Lu Chao studies at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences. He says China is the biggest oil provider to North Korea. He said last year, China exported 500,000 tons of oil to the country. Mr. Lu says China placed trade restrictions on North Korea this year after its third nuclear test. He says the Chinese government made the decision based on a United Nations Security Council resolution. North Korea's decision to carry out its third nuclear test earlier this year has affected ties between the two countries. Following the test, Chinese students called on the government to completely cut ties with North Korea.

Chinese officials have condemned the test. They have called for the continuation of six-nation talks aimed at ending the country's nuclear weapons programs. In May, the government operated People's Bank of China announced it was no longer doing business with North Korea's foreign trade bank. Recently officials from the United States and South Korea met. They announced their plan to continue placing restrictions on North Korea and to seek more assistance from China in the process.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.

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