Taiwan suspends oil exports to North Korea, imports of clothing

Containers are seen stacked up at Keelung port, northern Taiwan, October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang/File Photo

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan has suspended refined oil and LNG exports to North Korea, as well as clothing and textile imports, to comply with United Nations resolutions, a largely symbolic move by the island to show it is a responsible member of the international community.

Self-ruled Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, due to Beijing’s position that it is simply a Chinese province and so not able to have its own official diplomatic ties with anyone.

But proudly democratic Taiwan likes to show that it follows international norms, despite its lack of U.N. membership.

On Sept. 11, the United Nations Security Council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, imposing a ban on the isolated nation’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

To complement the UN measures, Taiwan said it would suspend liquefied natural gas, crude oil, and refined oil product exports to North Korea with effect from Tuesday, the economics ministry said in a statement.

Taiwan will suspend clothing and related textile good imports from North Korea, it added, adding that written pacts made before Sept. 11 would prevail for imports until Dec. 10, so long as a special permit is obtained from the trade office.

Taiwan’s measure is aimed at “denouncing North Korea’s recent successive nuclear tests and actions that jeopardize regional security,” the economics ministry said in a statement.

Taiwan and North Korea have only a minuscule trading relationship. Taiwan says its exports to North Korea in the first six months of this year were worth just $36,575, an annual decrease of more than 90 percent.

Last week, North Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan’s northern Hokkaido region far out into the Pacific Ocean, shortly after its biggest nuclear test this month.

Reporting by Jess Macy Yu and Jeanny Kao; Editing by Ben Blanchard and Clarence Fernandez