Beijing, China – Tensions between North Korea and China continue to mount as the Beijing government announced it is suspending all coal imports from North Korea until the beginning of 2018. This according to a statement made by the Chinese Commerce Ministry.
Since the economic collapse of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the late 1990s, the Chinese government has been artificially supporting the Pyongyang regime through favorable trade agreements, in particular over coal imports, and “humanitarian relief” care packages.
The official reason for the suspension of coal imports given by the Chinese government is that China is moving to further implement the November 2016 UN Security Council resolution to impose further sanctions on North Korea, which the UN Security Council hopes will facilitate the demise of the regime. The Security Council’s decision to facilitate this action came in the wake of North Korea’s fifth nuclear test in 2016.
The Chinese government’s announcement comes mere days after North Korea detonated an improved nuclear device delivery system on February 12 in the form of an intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Pukguksong-2.
North Korea has accelerated its development of nuclear weapons since 2009, after abandoning talks between the U.S., China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan.
The first shipment rejected by the Chinese government contained coal worth about $1 million US Dollars.
Another contributing fact appears to have been the Pyongyang orchestrated assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s ‘supreme leader’, Kim Jong-un, in Malaysia. Mr. Jong Nam had lived in Malaysia in exile under the explicit protection of China. Reportedly, Chinese officials took the murder as an affront to China’s security and authority.
LIMA CHARLIE NEWS, ASIA DESK
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