Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Moon's adviser proposes 5-way talks on North Korea

Kim Jong Un attends concert hailing North Korean missile launch Missiles and music: For North Korea's Kim, they go together
Melinda Barton | 18 July, 2017, 08:33

However, it was not held at the time, he said.

"It's high time for the United States to maximise global economic pressure against Kim Jong-Un's regime as well as against the many foreign banks and foreign companies that are enabling it, especially in China", said Rubio, who led in introducing the legislation. The surplus with the United States was China's largest since October 2015.

The latest release from China presents a muddied picture. He called out the "nearly 40%" increase in trade in the first three months of the year on Twitter last week. By comparison, imports of coal alone were worth $97.6 million just in the month of February.

Chinese customs spokesman Huang Songping told a briefing on China's overall trade figures that total trade with North Korea expanded by 10.5 percent to $2.55 billion in the first six months of the year.

But the overall picture suggests that North Korea is buying increasing amounts of products from China. Moreover, China is pushing trades with areas not included in the United Nations sanctions.

"China customs have all along fully, accurately, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant Security Council resolutions", Huang declares.

"We seek to impose real consequences for those entities who, even after Kim Jong-Un's defiance and continued flagrant violations of global law, continue to do business and support his vicious regime", he said. But there has been skepticism about China's ban, with coal ships and train cars being seen going back and forth between the two countries.

The legislation gives those that now conduct trade with North Korea a clear choice - either do business with this heinous outlaw regime or do business with the world's leading economic and military power, he said.

"We have carried out the United Nations resolution strictly", Huang said. Trump has urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to use China's economic dominance to sway North Korea on nuclear testing.

But Beijing is also eager to avoid riling Trump.

Senior US officials say that a new round of sanctions related to North Korea is imminent.

"So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!" he added.

Xi has made no secret of his disdain for Kim and is clearly frustrated at North Korea's weapons testing and actions such as the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the leader's half-brother who had been protected by China.

But coal imports slumped by 75%, suggesting Beijing is gradually choking off North Korea's biggest source of foreign currency.