China bans exports to NKorea with possible military use

BEIJING (AP) — China has banned exports to North Korea of technology and materials that might be used in weapons production in a new response to the North’s development of nuclear weapons and missiles.

The Commerce Ministry said Wednesday the list of banned goods includes metal alloys, cutting and laser-welding equipment and chemicals that could be used in production of chemical weapons.

Beijing has long supported the North Korean government but in a sign of growing frustration signed on in March to United Nations sanctions enacted in response to the North’s fourth nuclear test.

In April, China banned imports of North Korean coal and iron ore, an important revenue source for the impoverished country.