Speed Reads

You Didn't Have to Cut Me Off

Chinese government orders North Korean businesses to close

China has instructed all North Korea-owned companies in the country to shut down, after the U.N. Security Council voted to impose new sanctions on the country earlier this month over Pyongyang's escalating nuclear missile tests. The firms in question, which include joint Chinese and North Korean operations, will close by January of 2018. China had set a deadline of 120 days from Sept. 11, when the sanctions were unanimously voted in.

Non-commercial organizations and those involved in nonprofit infrastructure development will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, Al Jazeera reports. Beijing has already banned natural gas sales and purchases of North Korea's textile exports, as well as limited shipments of refined petroleum and oil. It also cut back on the seafood and iron trade earlier this year.

China has been North Korea's main diplomatic ally and one of its only sources of foreign trade, but North Korea's recent missile tests have challenged that relationship. In September, the U.S. softened the language of its draft for new sanctions in order to get China and Russia on board, as China had initially worried that causing economic instability in North Korea might lead to an influx of refugees. Because of its influence on North Korea's economy, China's cooperation with the sanctions will be a determining factor in their success.