China will halt iron, iron ore and seafood imports from North Korea starting Tuesday as it implements new UN sanctions, the commerce ministry said Monday.

Beijing had pledged to fully enforce the latest sanctions against its diplomatic ally after coming under pressure from the United States to do more to compel Pyongyang to drop its nuclear weapons programme.

The ministry said on its website that all imports of coal, iron, iron ore and seafood will be “completely prohibited” from Tuesday.

The announcement follows days of increasingly bellicose rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un’s regime, which has raised international alarm.

Dandong in Liaoning Province, China links to North Korea over the Yalu River. File photo: Wikicommons.

The United Nations Security Council, including permanent member Beijing, approved tough sanctions against Pyongyang on August 6 that could cost the hermetic country US$1 billion a year.

The sanctions were in response to the North’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month, after which Kim boasted that he could now strike any part of the United States.

The US has accused China, which is North Korea’s main economic lifeline, of not doing enough to rein in its neighbour.

File photo: Reuters/Greg Baker/Pool.

But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi vowed after the UN sanctions were given the green light that his country “will for sure implement that new resolution 100 percent, fully and strictly”.

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