Beijing, Jun 15 :  China today banned the export of several critical “dual use” items and technologies to North Korea that could be used for development of nuclear weapons, the latest in a series of efforts to deter Pyongyang’s aggressive nuclear and missile programme. The ban, with immediate effect, follows UN Security Council resolutions, a Commerce Ministry statement said. Also Read - Intel Alert: China Occupying Nepal's Territory at 7 Bordering Districts

The list of banned items, referred as “dual use” items include ring magnets, high strength alumina’s alloys, laser welding equipment, and an array of compounds that can be used to produce nuclear and chemical weapons. It also includes metal hydrides, laser-welding equipment and plasma cutting equipment. It also bans the exports of a dozen chemicals that could be used in the production of “chemical warfare agents”, the statement added. China and North Korea, officially referred to as Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, (DPRK) continue to have close relations. (ALSO READ: Iran vows to burn nuclear agreement if US scraps it) Also Read - India to Operate First Vande Bharat Mission Flight to Wuhan on Oct 30

China is North Korea’s largest trading partner and its only influential international protector for decades. However, relations between the two countries have soured over differences over Pyongyang aggressively pursing nuclear weapons and missile programme. The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in March in response to the DPRK’s nuclear test in January and attempted satellite launch in February this year. North Korea, which held its first party congress last month after nearly four decades, has formally endorsed leader Kim Jong-Un’s policy of expanding the country’s nuclear arsenal. Also Read - US Presidential Debate: "Look at China, Russia, India... Air is Filthy", Trump Justifies Stand on Climate Change