China announced Monday that it will cut off imports of North Korean coal, iron ore and other goods in three weeks under U.N. sanctions imposed over the North's nuclear and missile programs.
China, the isolated North's main trading partner, has been reluctant to push leader
The Chinese customs agency said it will stop processing imports of North Korean coal, iron and lead ores and fish at midnight on Sept. 5.
"After that, entry of these goods will be prohibited," said an agency statement.
The announcement follows an escalating exchange of angry words between
On Monday, the top U.S. military officer told his counterparts in South Korea on Monday that the United States is ready to use the "full range" of its military capabilities to defend itself and its allies from any North Korean provocation.
Marine Corps Gen.
"We're all looking to get out of this situation without a war," Dunford said.
The latest U.N. sanctions are intended to block North Korean exports worth $1 billion — a significant share of total exports valued at $3 billion last year.
China stopped importing North Korean coal in February but total trade has risen, which prompted Trump to accuse Beijing in July of failing to use its economic leverage to stop Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Beijing had long been Pyongyang's only diplomatic defender but agreed in March 2016 to sanctions against the North following its test of a long-range missile.
Still, Chinese leaders oppose blocking all trade with the impoverished North, which they argue might cause widespread hunger.
The Chinese import cut will come the week of Foundation Day on Sept. 9, the North Korean holiday commemorating the founding of the country's government in 1948.