China Backs Sanctions on North Korea at a Price

China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, announced it supports the United Nations’ new sanctions on Pyongyang, which could cut the secluded Communist regime’s $3 billion export revenue by a third.

“Owing to China’s traditional economic ties with North Korea, it will mainly be China paying the price for implementing the resolution,” said China’s Foreign Minister Yang Wi. “But in order to protect the international non-proliferation system and regional peace and stability, China will as before fully and strictly properly implement the entire contents of the relevant resolution.”

North Korea was slapped by these new sanctions following a unanimous decision by the United Nations after North Korea had tested intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in defiance of existing resolutions.

These new sanctions ban the exporting of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. Moreover, it prevents nations from opening their borders to more North Korean laborers and prohibits any new ventures.

Still, it remains unclear as to how these moves will affect the North’s nuclear weapons program. Following Pyongyang’s ICBM tests, the Japanese government released a white paper suggesting North Korea may be inching closer to mounting nuclear warheads on these missiles, which have the potential to strike the United States.

“Since last year, when it forcibly implemented two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile launches, the security threats have entered a new stage,” the Japanese Defence Ministry said in the document. “It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and has acquired nuclear warheads.”

Following various American media reports that North Korea had succesully built a “minuturized nuclear weapon” capable of fitting on some of its missiles, President Donald Trump warned the North was getting closer and closer to a line it would not be able to turn back from.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump told reporters. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening … and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.