Bilateral trade between China and North Korea last year dropped 10.5 percent compared to the figure from the previous year, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs Huang Songping revealed at a press briefing Friday, according to the Associated Press.
North Korean restaurants continue to do brisk business in China, despite United Nations Security Council sanctions that ban the operation of North Korean-owned businesses and the deployment of overseas North Korean laborers. Imports from the country also plunged 82 percent in December.
Despite the loss of nearly all trade, the impoverished North has pressed ahead with weapons development that Kim's regime sees as necessary for its survival in the face of US pressure.
On the United States' willingness to engage in dialogue with North Korea, he said that there was some sign of positive interaction between North Korea and the South Korean peninsula which was receiving the great attention of the worldwide community. While China says they support a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, Beijing has resisted sanctions so harsh that they might cause widespread suffering or topple Kim's regime.
Next week, the United States and Canada are to host a meeting on the nuclear standoff with North Korea in Vancouver, bringing together friendly powers from around the world.
China has "closed some sanctions gaps", Brian Hook, director of policy planning for U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, told reporters in Washington on Thursday.
He said that China has always supported worldwide anti-terrorism cooperation on the basis of mutual respect.
Vice President Mike Pence will lead the official United States delegation.
North Korea and South Korea engaged with each other for the first time in two years Tuesday, meeting on the topic of the Winter Olympics being held in the south next month.
Following the first intra-Korean talks, the two sides had agreed to hold talks on January 20, hosted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).