China rejected a shipment of coal from North Korea a day after the country testfired a ballistic missile in violation of international sanctions, Reuters reported, citing a report from South Korea's Yonhap News Agency on February 15.
A load of around 16,295 tonnes of North Korean coal, estimated to be worth around $1 million, was not allowed to be unloaded at a seaport in Wenzhou in China's Zhejiang province on February 13, and will be returned to the North Korean western port of Nampo, the agency said.
The rejection was due to a higher-than-permissible level of mercury contained in the coal, it said.
The move came a day after Pyongyang's test of the intermediate-range ballistic missile on February 12, its first direct challenge to the international community since US President Donald Trump took office on January 20.
In September last year, the United Nations imposed new sanctions on North Korea, as part of an effort to deter Pyongyang from pursuing its nuclear weapons programme after the country's fifth and largest nuclear test.
It set an annual sales cap of $400.9 million or 7.5 million tonnes, whichever is lower, on coal, the isolated country's biggest export, effective from January 1.
(Writing by Katherine Wu Editing by Harry Huo)
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