China ordered the closure of all North Korean businesses operating under its control, halting revenue to the isolated state.
The move on Thursday comes in compliance with UN sanctions imposed over North Korea’s nuclear program, which prevents member countries from operating joint ventures with the rogue nation.
China’s Ministry of Commerce is giving North Korean businesses 120 days from Sept. 11 to close, the Associated Press reported (via Business Insider). This deadline falls on January.
Aside from being its sole diplomatic protector, China also serves as North Korea’s main trading partner. This implies that the nuclear state, to some extent, will have to suffice on its own for an indefinite period.
Meanwhile, the closure of North Korean ventures disrupts trade with Chinese businesses concentrated in the mainland’s northeastern region. North Korean workers are employed in these locations.
An anonymous Chinese trader told the Washington Post:
“Personally, the sanctions are hurting me a tremendous amount… Both Chinese and North Korean business executives have the same thought — whatever happens, let it happen quickly. If we have to have war, at least let it happen soon. We have to settle this quickly. Things can’t go on like this.”
In addition to closing joint ventures, the latest sanctions ban natural gas coming to and textile coming out of North Korea. China has already announced compliance, following its ban on imported coal, iron, lead ore and seafood.
Earlier this week, North Korea threatened that it is “inevitable” that its missiles would hit the US in the future, responding to what it interpreted as U.S. President Donald Trump’s “declaration of war.”
President Trump said in a news conference on Tuesday (via CNN):
“If we take that option it will be devastating — devastating — for North Korea. It’s called the military option.”
Trump’s words echo his earlier warning that North Korea would “face fire and fury like the world has never seen,” which came as a response after the Guam threat.