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China bars gold, rare earths imports from North Korea

Beijing has banned the import of gold and rare earth metals fromNorth Korea, Reuters reported April 5.

China has also banned the export of jet fuel and other productsused to produce rocket fuel, to reflect new sanctions on North Korea imposed bythe United Nations. Coal will also be banned from import from Pyongyang, makingexceptions in line with the sanctions to allow coal to be shipped for "thepeople's well-being."

North Korea's mining sector is believed to underwrite its militaryexpenditures, Reuters noted.

North Korea delivered approximately 20 million tonnes of coalto China in 2015, an increase of 27% year on year. The country is the third-largestsupplier to China, behind Australia and Indonesia.

Other restricted minerals for exportinclude titanium and vanadium, as both are used for steel alloys.