Photo: Reuters / Jacky Chen

On Friday China’s commerce ministry announced new measures to enforce the most recent round of sanctions against North Korea, including imposing limits on the export of crude oil.

Beginning January 6, China will prohibit all exports to North Korea of steel, iron ore, and other metals, as well as industrial machinery and transport vehicles, according to the release on the ministry’s official website. Further limits will also be placed on exports of crude and refined oil products.

The announcement comes just days before Pyongyang and Seoul are set to begin high-level talks, and after the US and South Korean presidents agreed to halt joint military drills during the Olympics.

Beijing has reiterated its commitment to strictly enforcing sanctions in recent days, amid reports linking China to illicit shipments of oil to North Korea. The allegations prompted the US president to suggest Beijing was failing to strictly enforce sanctions.

China reportedly went above and beyond an earlier round of UN sanctions last November, halting all oil product exports to the country that month.