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Options of land and sea blockade

Posted December. 01, 2017 08:59,   

Updated December. 01, 2017 09:44


The international society has been demanding China to suspend its crude oil supply to North Korea since the North test-launched its “Hwasong-15” intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Wednesday. U.S. President Donald Trump had a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, and called on China to stop providing North Korea with crude oil, saying that China must use all available means. The United States also made the same request at the emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, but China said that it must not have a negative influence on the activity of humanitarianism, practically refusing the request.

After North Korea’s sixth nuclear test in September, the United Nations Security Council imposed limits on North Korean imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products. Even at that time, the U.N.'s most powerful body could not take any actions on crude oil as China objected to it. But now, China should give a strict warning to the North by suspending its crude oil trade with Pyongyang. Nevertheless, China is still against it, shifting the blame onto the United States about North Korea’s provocation. China’s official news agencies reported on Thursday that the U.S. policy toward North Korea has made its worst failure ever, adding that China would never take any more responsibilities between North Korea and the United States, which uses a strategy of depending on China.

The United States also foretold “the new level of blockade on the sea” to disconnect North Korea’s maritime transportation channel. Unlike passive restrictions, a sea blockade can suffocate the country of subject and make it surrender with active executions. It is an effective action to deliver the international society’s strong will to North Korea. North Korea’s quantity of overseas transportation is small, and it is difficult to build a worldwide cooperation system for surveillance, searching and blocking.

Even though the seas of North Korea are completely blocked, it will not have that much of effects when China leaves the transportation channel on land open. Since Xi’s special envoy to North Korea failed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his visit to the North, the flights between Beijing and Pyeongyang have been suspended and the Sino–Korean Friendship Bridge linking Dandong and Sinuiju will be temporarily shut down. Nevertheless, it will not be easy to make Kim Jong Un to give up his adventurism.

As Kim declared the “completion of military power with nuclear weapons” on Wednesday, there is a possibility that he might refrain from any more nuclear or missile tests. Kim might practice massive peace offensive in an advantageous position, and China might think that this is the time to comfort North Korea. But Kim, proud and confident, will obviously demand for the position of a “nuclear power.” Kim might also stage local provocation in South Korea before the Pyongchang Winter Olympic Games. Unfornately, North Korea is becoming more and more reckless.

Who has made North Korea so arrogant and impudent? If China had stop oil exports to Kim Jong Un's regime just for a few days, North Korea would not have continued to provoke. China cannot get away with the responsibility of aiding and abetting. As a large country of the international society, China should at least practice its minimum duty with responsibilities. That will help solve issues with North Korea through conversation as China wishes.