March 7, 2018 / 12:43 PM / 13 days ago

India tightens curbs on trade with North Korea

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has imposed new restrictions on trade with North Korea, a government statement said on Wednesday, in line with U.N. Security Council sanctions slapped on the reclusive country for its nuclear and missile programmes.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greets a member of the special delegation of South Korea's President at a dinner in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 6, 2018. KCNA/via Reuters

New Delhi has been cutting back on trade with North Korea but has maintained diplomatic links. It has given food aid in the past, but even that has been brought down to the minimum.

The new restrictions were mainly on “new or used vessels”, food and farm products, electrical equipment and wood, the government said in the statement.

Curbs have also been toughened on the export of industrial machinery, transportation vehicles, iron, steel and other metals.

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Washington has been leading diplomatic efforts to ramp up international pressure on North Korea. The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it had imposed the new sanctions.

Tensions had risen to the highest level in years over North Korea’s weapons programmes, which it pursues in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with bellicose rhetoric coming from both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

North Korea has boasted of its plans to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the mainland United States. But fears of all-out war eased last month, coinciding with North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics in the South.

North Korea seems “sincere” in its apparent willingness to halt nuclear tests if it holds denuclearisation talks with the United States, Trump said on Tuesday, as U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials voiced scepticism.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Nick Macfie

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