- The Washington Times - Friday, January 12, 2018

The White House praised China Friday for sharply curtailing trade with North Korea in an effort to force the regime in Pyongyang to end its nuclear weapons programs.

“This action supports the United States-led global effort to apply maximum pressure until the North Korean regime ends its illicit programs, changes its behavior, and moves toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

China on Friday reported that its trade with North Korea fell 10.5 percent in 2017, compared with the previous year. Mr. Trump has been urging Beijing to isolate North Korea economically after a series of intercontinental ballistic missile tests by Pyongyang.

In December, the drop in trade was even more significant — falling 50.6 percent from the same period in 2016.

China’s imports from North Korea last month fell 81.6 percent from December 2016, to $54.34 million, their lowest level in four years, according to Reuters. Chinese exports to North Korea declined 23.4 percent in the same period.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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