WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (KUNA) -- The US administration on Friday announced it was "pleased" by China's decision to reduce trade ties with North Korea, further tightening pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear ballistic missile program.
"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," the White House said in a statement.
China accounts for nearly all of North Korea's trade and energy supplies. The US has repeatedly called on Beijing to impose an oil embargo and further increase economic pressure on the Hermit Kingdom, which it has stopped short of doing. However, trade between China and North Korea reportedly plunged 50 percent in December, compared to a year earlier.
The United Nations Security Council has steadily tightened sanctions against the country to discourage the North Korean government from pursuing its nuclear program. (end)