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Need to restrict China-N. Korea trade for meaningful sanctions against the North

Need to restrict China-N. Korea trade for meaningful sanctions against the North

Posted September. 19, 2016 07:15,   

Updated September. 19, 2016 07:45


About 400 trucks loaded with agricultural equipment and cements pass the Dandong Customs Office, the largest gateway to the China-North Korea trade, to enter the North each day. Traders in this region, which accounts for 70 percent of the trade between the two countries, said, “This year has more trade volume than last year. There is no impact from the nuclear test.” Similar situations are taking place in the Hunchun Customs Office, whose area accounts for 30 percent of the trade. It has been said that over 100 trucks and tour buses were waiting in line to enter the North to celebrate the Chuseok holiday. It seems that the Resolution 2270, which was issued by the UN Security Council in March after the fourth nuclear test of the North and dubbed as the toughest measure in the history of the council, does not take effect at all.

After North Korea’s fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9, the Security Council issued a media statement criticizing the North on that day, which was an unusual move, and the U.S. and China actively started talks to pass a new resolution to impose sanctions on the North. A new resolution must not include humanitarian exemptions that are allowed before to sustain the people’s life in North Korea such as travel to foreign countries to work overseas, and exports of coal, steel, and other minerals. Also, the inspections of ships, aircrafts, travel ban, embargo, freeze of financial assets overseas, and other measures of the resolution 2270 should be further strengthened. To implement the resolution, support of China is a requirement as the nation is the key to impose sanctions against the North. Otherwise, the new resolution would follow the trace of the resolution 2270, which was effective in April and May, but ended in unfortunate results.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se departed South Korea Friday in order to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations in the U.S. The minister will have bilateral talks with the counterparts of the U.S. and Japan to work together to impose sanctions against the North. He must put every diplomatic effort to persuade China to take secondary sanctions (boycotts) via the U.S. If the U.S. imposes sanctions against Chinese companies who are trading with the North, the effect of sanctions on the North would be all the more increased, comparing to previous ones. In the past, the U.S. imposed sanctions against the Bank of Kunlun to apply sanctions on Iran. The approach was proved to be effective as other Chinese banks that Iran used for money transfer followed the suit.

It took 57 days to pass the resolution 2270 after the fourth nuclear test of North Korea as Russia put on the brakes by demanding that the resolution should allow the export of foreign produced coal and other materials through the Rajin port. No one knows what kind of variables may occur during the process of preparing and passing the resolution this time. It is also important to prevent Russia from going astray while making efforts to push China to actively engage in activities to impose sanctions against the North by working with the U.S.