China has sent a flotilla of North Korean freighters loaded with coking coal back to their home ports, according to an exclusive Reuters report. Meanwhile, China has placed massive orders for the steel-making commodity from U.S. producers.
Information on the Thomson Reuters Eikon financial information and analytics platform revealed that 12 freighters were returning to North Korea.
Reuters attributed news of China’s rejecting North Korean coal to a trading source at Dandong Chengtai Trade Co., which is the biggest buyer of North Korea's coal.
The Dandong Chengtai said it had 600,000 tons of North Korean coal sitting at various ports and that there were 2 million tons stranded at Chinese ports to be sent back to North Korea, Reuters said.
The move reflects China’s public commitment on Feb. 26 to join other nations in punishing North Korea for its continued nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development program. China said in February it was suspending North Korean imports for the rest of this year.
That's brutal for an already impoverished state like North Korea.