China’s trade with North Korea fell sharply in September as sanctions finally began to bite, data released by the Chinese government Friday showed.

China says it has implemented successive rounds of sanctions, agreed to by the U.N. Security Council, that are meant to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. China is North Korea’s economic lifeline, and Beijing’s role in the sanctions effort is critical.

On Friday, China’s General Administration of Customs announced that China’s imports from North Korea fell 37.9 percent in September, the seventh successive monthly decline. China’s exports to North Korea dropped a more modest 6.7 percent in September, Huang Songping, spokesman for the customs department, said at a news conference.

 

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