Earlier today, China announced it will soon cut off imports of coal, iron/lead ore and goods from North Korea per UN sanctions.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) August 14, 2017
Or if you prefer your news the more old fashioned way courtesy of a webpage:
China is to stop importing coal, iron ore, seafood and other goods from North Korea in a matter of weeks, as it brings its operations in line with sanctions imposed by the United Nations following the development of Kim Jong-un’s nuclear and missile programmes.
China is North Korea’s main trading partner but it last week supported the UN Security Council ban. The Chinese customs agency has said it will stop processing imports of coal, iron and lead ores, and seafood from the country at midnight on 5 September.
Whichever version is your preference, the bottom line is China slapped sanctions on North Korea today. For those who want a visual of what that means, this cartoon should prove instructional.
Just imagine Kim Jong Un as the little puppy Charlie asking Spike (China) “hey Spike, can we shoot some missiles at Guam, can we Spike oh can we please?”
Presuming for a moment this is true, it would represent a diplomatic victory of sorts for the Trump Administration. However, not completely so:
For North Korea’s fledgling economy, the latest round of sanctions will cut deep.
The curbs on everything from lead and fish exports to shady North Korean companies coincide with a deadly drought that’s ruining crops, darkening an already dire humanitarian picture. An estimated 40 percent of the population is already under nourished and two-thirds are reliant on food aid, according to estimates by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Food Programme.
Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit in Singapore, expects a “severe recession” this year as sanctions crimp the mining and manufacturing industries, which together make up 33 percent of North Korea’s output.
But for all the humanitarian and economic pain, the new measures aren’t likely to deter Kim Jong Un from his ambition of developing an arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles. That’s because Kim, who’s banking on military power to survive, has a web of illicit channels to skirt sanctions and the new curbs leave out the vital ingredient of oil.
Lets see if the administration can also prevail upon China to include oil in its upcoming sanctions. (Scheduled to take effect within the next few weeks!)