BEIJING (Reuters) - China's imports from North Korea in the first quarter of 2017 rose 18.4 percent in yuan value from a year ago, while exports to North Korea jumped 54.5 percent in yuan value terms, the customs said on Thursday in a press conference.
China's total trade with North Korea was worth 8.4 billion yuan ($1.22 billion) in the January to March period. China's trade surplus with North Korea totaled 1.52 billion yuan, an increase of 3.9 times, the customs said.
China's coal imports from North Korea plunged 51.6 percent in the first three months in 2017 from a year ago at 2.678 million tonnes.
China suspended issuing permits for importing coal from North Korea on February 18 as part of its efforts to implement United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang.
($1 = 6.8743 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Christian Schmollinger