China has ordered the closure of all North Korean companies within its borders after the United Nations imposed sanctions on the country following Pyongyang's latest nuclear missile test.
In a statement released on Thursday (28 September), China's commerce ministry said all North Korean companies based in China, and overseas Chinese joint ventures with North Korean entities or individuals will be shut.
While the ministry said North Korean companies or North Korean joint ventures in China will have to be closed within 120 days of the UN resolution, which was announced on 12 September, it did not give a timeline for Chinese and North Korean joint ventures based abroad.
Earlier this month, the UN Security Council unanimously agreed to impose a watered-down version of economic sanctions on North Korea for its recent nuclear test.
Though the US had wanted to introduce harsher measures such as a travel and financial freeze on the country's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, diplomats have toned down the resolution after negotiations with China and Russia.
This was the UNSC's ninth round of economic sanctions imposed against North Korea since 2006 as the reclusive nation shows no signs of scaling down its nuclear and missile activities.
The latest package of sanctions includes a ban on textile imports and a limited oil embargo. It also includes a ban on the country importing all natural gas liquids and condensates. Import of refined petroleum products has been limited to 2 million barrels per annum.
"We are facing not a regional but a global threat, not a virtual but an immediate threat, not a serious but an existential threat," French ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre told reporters at the subsequent UN vote.
"This threat is what unites us in the security council and, I hope, what will bring us towards unity when it comes to the vote and hopefully beyond," he added.