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New Delhi has been cutting back on trade with North Korea but has maintained diplomatic links. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint
New Delhi has been cutting back on trade with North Korea but has maintained diplomatic links. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

India imposes new restrictions on trade with North Korea

The fresh trade sanctions by India against North Korea are in line with the restrictions imposed by the UNSC after the country undertook an intercontinental ballistic missile test last November

New Delhi: India on Wednesday imposed fresh trade sanctions against North Korea in line with the restrictions imposed by the United Nations Security Council after the country undertook an intercontinental ballistic missile test in November last year.

The export restrictions imposed through a notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the commerce ministry include items such as industrial machinery, transportation vehicles and metals. The import restrictions include food and agricultural products, electrical equipment, earth and stone including magnesite and magnesia, wood, vessels.

In October last year, the DGFT had imposed restrictions on trade in condensates and natural gas liquids, and refined petroleum products.

A Security Council resolution adopted 15-0 on 22 December last year banned nearly 90% of refined petroleum product exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year. The US-drafted resolution also caps crude oil supplies to North Korea at 4 million barrels a year and commits the Council to further reductions if Pyongyang were to conduct another nuclear test or launch another ICBM.

North Korea on 29 November said it successfully tested a new ICBM in a “breakthrough" that puts the US mainland within range of its nuclear weapons whose warheads could withstand re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere.

However, in a dramatic development, a senior South Korean diplomat on Tuesday said the North is willing to hold talks with the US on denuclearization if the safety of Kim Jong-un’s regime is guaranteed.

North Korea will also suspend nuclear tests while the dialogue with the US is underway, Chung Eui-yong, head of the South Korean delegation which visited North Korea for talks, told reporters.

US President Donald Trump signalled that he’s open to talks with North Korea in a possible breakthrough after months of bellicose threats from both leaders.

“Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned," Trump said Tuesday in a tweet. “The world is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the US is ready to go hard in either direction!"

Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this story.

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