Posted December. 30, 2017 07:47,
Updated December. 30, 2017 07:57
“Caught red handed,” U.S. President Donald Trump said he was “very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea.” In an illustrative tweet on Thursday (local time), Trump expressed his grave disappointment toward China’s transferring oil to North Korea. His remarks are interpreted as Washington’s taking a proactive approach to put all-out pressure on China, which has been referred to as a “strategic competitor” by the recently released U.S. National Security Strategy report, in his policy toward North Korea and trade earlier next year.
“Oil is going into North Korea. It was reported this morning on Fox News,” Trump said in an interview with The New York Times. “If (China) is helping me with North Korea, I can look at (U.S.-China) trade a little bit differently. But if they don’t help us with North Korea, then I do what I’ve always said I want to do.” He explicitly hinted at his government’s stance on trade policy with China by bringing up issues such as trade deficit and financial sanctions on Chinese banking institutions, if China allows oil to go into the North. Asked if there is a diplomatic solution, “China has a tremendous power over North Korea,” he said, underscoring the role of China in solving the North Korea problem. “They’re helping us a lot, but they’re not helping us enough.”
“China would never, ever enforce the sanctions to the satisfaction of President Trump,” said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, in an interview with Reuters on the same day. “With President Trump’s latest tweet, it seems the ‘bromance’ between him and President Xi is finally over.”
The United Nations Security Council on the same day tightens economic sanctions on Pyongyang to deny port access to four North Korean ships, including the Rye Song Gang 1, Sam Jong 2, Ul Ji Bong 6 and Rung Ra 2, for illegally transporting petroleum and other goods to North Korea although China and Russia asked more time to consider the proposal. The ban of 10 vessels, including Hong Kong-flagged oil tanker, was requested by the United Sates, but China and Russia only agreed to blacklist the four ships, AFP reported.
North Korean seafood, which had been restricted from trading after the import ban implemented as part of the UN Security Council sanctions, is reportedly selling again recently in northeastern China. According to the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun on Friday, no seafood from North Korea had been sold in China soon after the sanctions but it seems to be smuggled in lately. In in Yanji, Jilin province, one shop in a market displayed a sign advertising fresh North Korean seafood, with full of snow crabs and horsehair crabs in the tank, the newspaper reported.