Seoul offers military talks with Pyongyang

Pyongyang North Korea where the 105-story pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel is seen in this

China's Customs Administration announced Thursday that trade with the global pariah North grew 10.5 percent to $2.5 billion between January and June, with exports soaring to 29.1 percent during that period.

North Korea considers that the latest Washington's calls on the global community to increase the pressure on Pyongyang hamper any possibility of negotiations on the country's nuclear program, the state-owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.

South Korea on Monday offered to hold military discussions with North Korea for the first time in almost three years in an effort to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. "China customs have all along fully, accurately, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant Security Council resolutions".

It asked Pyongyang to respond via an inter-Korean hotline, which was cut off by the North previous year.

"Trade related to the people's livelihood in North Korea, especially if it embodies humanitarian principles, should not be affected by sanctions", said Huang at a separate news briefing.

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The UN and the US have attempted to use sanctions for the past decade in an attempt to stem North Korea's nuclear weapons development, but the latest July 4 test, which demonstrated a significant advance in its capabilities, have forced worldwide bodies to reconsider their response going forward.

China announced in February the suspension of coal imports from the North, striking a blow at a major source of income for the hermit state.

Seoul's proposal for two sets of talks indicates President Moon Jae-in is pushing to improve ties with Pyongyang despite the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile this month.

China Customs said Thursday that the country's overall trade with North Korea had grown 10.5 percent in the first half of the year.

Trump angrily ended his tweet: "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"

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