The White House issued a statement Friday to recognize news that trade between China and North Korea dropped 50 percent in December as a result of tightening sanctions.

China is by far North Korea’s largest trading partner, both as an importer and exporter, but the Associated Press reports China’s imports from the North shrank 81.6 percent and exports dipped 23.4 percent.

The United States has long taken a harsher stance against North Korea than China, but Chinese leaders are growing frustrated with the regime’s continued nuclear testing.

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