A list of goods banned for export from China to North Korea seems to have been approved from the very top of the Chinese regime, the New York Times said Monday.
"The list appeared to have been approved at the highest levels of the Chinese government. Either the Politburo, or the group's seven-member Standing Committee, the apex of Chinese power, gave the green light," the paper said.
"Both Chinese and Western analysts called the export ban an important development -- if it is implemented fully," it added. "The publication of the banned items for export was described by these experts as a sign of further exasperation, and a desire for China to fall in line with the United Nations sanctions that it voted for earlier this year."
Back on Sept. 23, the Chinese ministries of commerce and of industry and information technology, the General Administration of Customs, and China Atomic Energy Authority published a 236-page document including the list of banned exports to the North.
Roger Cavazos of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability, who specializes in Sino-North Korean relations, said, "China was targeting important aspects of North Korean nuclear programs, including the ceramics needed to protect a warhead as it re-entered the earth's atmosphere atop a missile."
"Despite the North's underground tests of crude nuclear devices, experts say it has not yet tested a vehicle that can withstand the heat of re-entry, an important step in building a deliverable nuclear bomb," the paper added.
"Since China's new leader, Xi Jinping, came to power earlier this year, Beijing has been tougher toward North Korea on its nuclear abilities," it said. "The diplomatic opening between the United States and Iran on Friday would give China another opportunity to 'put the squeeze' on North Korea."