Met coal hits 2-month high Friday as Chinese imports of steelmaking coal from totalitarian state drops 75% during first half of the year.
North Korea Mining News
Coal shipments from North Korea to China fell from 1.4 million tonnes, worth $126 million, in January to zero in April.
Seven miners were initially trapped after the Jan. 9 incident at the Unryul iron ore mine, but only one survived.
The totalitarian state is the number three supplier to China of the steelmaking raw material.
The economic noose is being tightened around North Korea's neck after the pariah regime ignored a United Nations resolution by testing a missile last week.
Fresh UN sanctions against North Korea aimed at punishment for a nuclear test in September will be honoured by China, the reclusive regime's most important trading and diplomatic partner.
Met coal's stunning run is reversing as consensus forecasts point to $125 drop by year-end, but new UN sanctions could cost China its number two supplier.
It appears that China is interpreting the "people's well-being" as meaning North Korea should be able to export record amounts of coal in defiance of sanctions against the rogue nuclear-armed state.
North Korea was the only country to boost coal shipments to China this year as Vietnamese supply slumped.
Many countries, notably China, Japan and South Korea, are scrambling for the abundant rare earth resources of North Korea, enabling the Kim Jong-un regime to extract maximum economic and political gains.
Experts are raising questions about the legitimacy of North Korea's estimated reserves of rare earths, used from computers to cars and defense missiles.
The 216 million tonne Jongju deposit 150km north of Pyongjang, theoretically worth trillions of dollars, would more than double the current global known resource of REE oxides.
Kim Jong-un and co has sold some two tonnes of the precious metal to China.