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Trump Admin Preparing Another Round of China Sanctions over North Korea Ties

16 July 2017, 03:41 | Rodolfo Wallace

Trump has sought to persuade China, North Korea's largest economic and trade partner by far, to use its leverage over its rogue neighbor to scale back its missile program - as have American governments for years.

The new measures would target Chinese small-and-medium sized financial institutions and shell companies suspected of "funneling cash" into Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

The UN and the US have attempted to use sanctions for the past decade in an attempt to stem North Korea's nuclear weapons development, but the latest July 4 test, which demonstrated a significant advance in its capabilities, have forced worldwide bodies to reconsider their response going forward.

China imported only 2.67 million metric tons of coal from North Korea in the first half of this year, a year-on-year drop of 74.5 percent, Huang noted.

But Beijing is also eager to avoid riling Trump.

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Song continued that "neighboring countries surrounding the Korean Peninsula" were in an "age of limitless competition" seeking their own national interests, which is why South Korea needed to build more military muscle to "suppress any threat from North Korea and become a reciprocal bridge to countries nearby". But it is especially anxious about the collapse of the regime with which it shares a border, and fears both an influx of millions of North Korean refugees and the possibility of a unified Korea with US troops again at the Yalu River. "It's not like, oh, gee, you just do whatever we say", Trump said. "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"

Sanctions are the only action so far that are specifically meant to pressure China on North Korea; arms sales and fleet movements have happened before and would have again sooner or later.

"The president is losing patience with China", the official said, adding that there would be a "more aggressive approach to sanctioning Chinese entities in the not-too-distant future".

China insists none of its current trade with Pyongyang is in violation of global sanctions.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang responded to the possible sanctions by reiterating the country's commitment to enforcing United Nations resolutions, adding that unilateral sanctions were outside the framework of this commitment.



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