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Exporting coal is a main source of foreign currency income for North Korea.   © Reuters

China buys up North Korean coal on eve of UN import ban

August rush came months after Beijing announced import suspension

OKI NAGAI, Nikkei staff writer | China

BEIJING -- China procured some 1.63 million tons of coal from North Korea in August, new government data shows, as the nation apparently reopened import channels ahead of a United Nations coal embargo on Pyongyang.

The U.N. Security Council banned coal trade with North Korea in a resolution adopted Aug. 5. The Chinese government may have approved a last-minute import push before it implemented the ban Aug. 15.

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