Germany: Chinese pressure makes us more upbeat about North Korea

Aug 21, 2017, 08:19
Germany: Chinese pressure makes us more upbeat about North Korea

The time might be right to approach Kim with a better deal for his regime and his people by offering him a grand bargain that would take North Korea away from China and bring it into the camp of the United States and its allies.

Tensions have been running high between the two countries since Donald Trump won the United States presidential election in November.

RFA quoted a source in China as saying that "maritime markets" crop up at night on the West Sea, where Chinese trawlers buy fish and other seafood from North Korean vessels.

The Trump administration had been pushing China to tighten its enforcement of the United Nations sanctions, and North Korea's export of seafood is a decent, if not spectacular, source of cash for its government. So far, none of the sanctions include textiles, though if more clothing starts coming into the U.S.by way of North Korea and falsely labeled as Made in China, the US could bring the issue to the table. Now, newly inducted South Korean President Moon Jae-in has capitalized on the domestic outrage by threatening to renege on the agreement with Japan, while also taking a softer line towards Pyongyang. The resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood products, which together account for one third of the country's already meager annual export revenue of $3 billion.

China's Foreign Ministry today calls for "double suspension", namely, a suspension of North Korean nuclear missile and nuclear tests paired with a USA and South Korean suspension of annual joint military exercises.

So far, however, the sanctions do not seem to be having the intended effect.

Germany: Chinese pressure makes us more upbeat about North Korea

The report mentioned the "widespread presence" of North Koreans in Africa and the Middle East, particularly in Syria, and their suspected involvement in "prohibited activities such as trade in surface-to-air missile systems". "I can absolutely and unambiguously tell you there is no place - no place - for racism and bigotry in the USA military or in the United States as a whole". "We will not", she added, "negotiate our way to talks". "We're all working toward a peaceful solution".

One can not rule out other possible motives, including prestige and a belief that nuclear weapons will not just ensure the country's survival, but provide a useful backdrop for a more aggressive foreign policy. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has developed atomic bombs and may be close to placing them upon intercontinental ballistic missiles that could target USA treaty allies South Korea and Japan as well as American targets in the Pacific, and, possibly, the homeland. But the United States is unlikely to put all of its eggs in the sanctions basket.

Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Fang Fenghui, signed the so-called joint staff dialogue mechanism Tuesday at the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army in Beijing. But that will require cooperation from China, which the Trump administration has gone to great lengths to alienate. Not only would war destroy Beijing's regional calculus, it would also lead to the displacement of millions of starving North Koreans into one of the most populous regions in China.

"The DPRK continued to violate sectoral sanctions through the export of nearly all of the commodities prohibited in the resolutions, generating at least $270 million in revenue", the document said, referring to the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In 2015, another CICIR analyst cited "unprecedented" developments in Russian-DPRK economic ties, including a planned tenfold increase in bilateral trade, loans in the form of Russian grain exports, and transit fees derived from a planned railway connecting Siberia with South Korea.

The annual drills antagonize Pyongyang which see the exercises as practice for an invasion, however the United States and South Korea maintain they are purely defensive.

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