Taiwan to ban all trade with North Korea

Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) Taiwan is banning all trade with North Korea starting next week, according to a statement issued by the Executive Yuan on Friday.

Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) is invoking Article 5 of the Foreign Trade Act to ban all trading activities with North Korea, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) was cited as saying in the statement.

North Korea’s continued missile tests have threatened global security and global order, and as a member of the international community, Taiwan is complying with international actions to impose sanctions against the country, Hsu said.

In practice, the ban will have little bite because of the limited amount of trade between the two countries.

Taiwan imported US$1.25 million in goods from North Korea — mostly ginseng and textiles — in the first six months of the year and exported a mere US$36,575 in goods to the Hermit Kingdom during the same period.

Both totals were down around 90 percent from the first six months a year earlier.

The ban will reportedly go into effect sometime next week and is Taiwan’s way of contributing to both the United Nations’ efforts and peace in the region.

Taiwan, along with the rest of the international community, has called on North Korea to cease any action that may damage or threaten the peace in Asia Pacific as well as abide by Resolution 2375 that the U.N. Security Council passed earlier this month.

The new sanctions described in the resolution and imposed on Sept. 11 include a ban on the supply, sale and transfer of all condensates (the liquid phase produced by the condensation of gas) and natural gas liquids to North Korea as well as a ban on its exports of textiles.

(By Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu)
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