During a regular news briefing on Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang responded to criticism of China’s imports of iron ore from North Korea:

Question: There are reports that say North Korea is taking advantage of “loopholes” in United Nations sanctions, increasing exports of iron to China. What comments does China have on this?

Geng: China and North Korea are neighbors, the two countries maintain normal trade and commerce dealings. Under Security Council resolution 2321, North Korean exports of iron and iron ore for civil purposes, and not related to North Korea’s nuclear program, are not subject to the sanctions. China will continue to strictly and earnestly implement the North Korea-related Security Council resolution in its entirety.