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‘China could halt crude oil supply,' says Chinese state media

‘China could halt crude oil supply,' says Chinese state media

Posted April. 13, 2017 07:21,   

Updated April. 13, 2017 07:28


“If North Korean crosses the red line of its sixth nuclear test, China could halt crude oil supply to North Korea,” China’s state media Huanqiu (Global Times) reported on Wednesday. “If North Korea conducts a nuclear test or fires a long-range missile, it will not only slap in the face of the Donald Trump administration, but also pose strategic threat to China, and hence Beijing cannot afford to leave it unaddressed,” the daily warned.

“If North Korean makes provocation through a nuclear test, China could reduce food aid or halt crude oil supply to North Korea,” Wang Sheng, professor of Jilin University in China, told the South China Morning Post. “Halting crude oil supply and curbing North Korea’s transactions of foreign currency through Chinese financial institutions are some of various options,” Lu Chao, a researcher at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, also said.

China’s state media and scholars have been opposing the U.S.’ demand for a halt in Chinese crude oil supply, which could lead to the collapse of the North Korean regime, to sanction Pyongyang. As China feels a growing sense of crisis that North Korea is about to cross the red line, Beijing is moving to stop Pyongyang.

The mood in North Korea-China border is extraordinary as well. Quoting a Chinese human rights organization, the Apple Daily in Hong Kong reported on Wednesday that the northern combat zone of the China’s People’s Liberation Army issued Grade 4 wartime response alert on Tuesday. Grade 4 wartime response alert is the lowest of the four-level alerts, and entails preparation for instant deployment of troops in the event of an abnormality in surrounding areas. Hong Kong and Japanese media outlets have issued in succession news reports suggesting that additional Chinese troops are being deployed in North Korea-China border areas.

The Kyoto News Agency in Japan said at a meeting of ranking officials from the U.S. and Japan ahead of the U.S.-China summit, the U.S. government explained that depending on China’s response, (Washington) may launch a military strike on the North. The news agency quoted a ranking U.S. official as saying that President Trump would convey Washington’s stance to the visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping. “There are only two options: either Beijing steps up pressure on Pyongyang or U.S. strikes (North Korea)," Kyoto reported.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported on Wednesday that the U.S. will move to take a military action if the North Korean nuclear and missile issues are not resolved through diplomatic measures, and that the Japanese government requested Washington to consult with Tokyo in advance if such a situation happens, and the U.S. accepted the request.”

The Asahi Shimbun reported on Wednesday that Japan is coordinating schedule for a joint drill by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and the Japanese naval self-defense force. Waters in the East China Sea and west of Kyushu Island are being considered as the site for the military drill, and the objective is to strongly keep Pyongyang in check.

Ja-Ryong Koo bonhong@donga.com · Young-A Soh sya@donga.com