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As North Korea struggle to cope with economic challenges following sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by UN and U.S. over nuclear and missile development, China says its trade with the Kim Jong Un-led country fell 50 per cent in December from a year earlier.

Chinese government had also imposed sanctions on Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programme.

The Chinese customs agency said Friday that imports from the North shrank 81.6 per cent to $54 million while exports to the isolated, impoverished country contracted 23.4 per cent to $260 million.

The UN Security Council has steadily tightened prohibitions on buying the North’s goods or supplying it with oil in an effort to discourage leader Kim Jong Un’s government from pursuing nuclear and missile technology.

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