The US and China are getting along again and they have Kim Jong Un to thank.
Something pretty incredible has happened. The United Nations Security Council all agreed on something, and actually got something done that means the United States, Russia, and China, found something they all had in common. Besides that they’re each the best and greatest country in the world. The UN Security Council unanimously voted on tough new sanctions against North Korea. It’s part of ongoing efforts to stop North Korea from making nuclear weapons. Not only is this newsworthy, its Twitter worthy. Yes, China and Russia voted with US on these sanctions and they cover more than 1 billion dollars in exports including coal, iron, LED, and Seafood. Meaning North Korea can’t sell those things abroad. Of course that just means all that Seafood stays in North Korea which makes Kim Jong Un happy because he’s on a strict Seafood diet. When he sees food, he eats it. The sanctions also prohibit expanding the use of North Korean laborers abroad, along with new joint ventures, or new investment in current joint ventures. So if you think North Korea is a good investment, you might want to get a new financial advisor. In Practical terms the sanctions mainly affect how Russia and China deal with North Korea. Those two countries are basically the only major powers doing business with the Kim regime. China makes up about 90% of all North Korean trade.
According to Bloomberg, the US and China had been negotiating the sanctions for a month, then a leak last week said US President Trump wanted to go after China on trade for failing to rain in North Korea and he even got support from Democrats on it. A rare bipartisan win. But days later news broke that the US was going to delay the trade battle to guarantee China support for the UN vote on North Korea sanctions. Which shows how important the North Korea situation is to the US government. This is a win-win. The US get cooperation from China on North Korea without starting a war, and even though China will take the brunt of the loss in terms of trade, it’s great PR. It makes it seem like China is part of the solution, not part of the problem. It also prevents the US from putting more sanctions on Chinese companies with dubious ties to North Korea, for now at least.
North Korea for its part has not taken the sanction as well. As their perpetually angry state-run news anchor said; “We denounce and totally reject the United Nations Security Council resolution on our country, which the United States in hustle forces and fabricated to infringe on their sovereignty”. Then North Korea threatened ultimate measures, saying that the entire United States was in reach of their nuclear weapon; “there is no bigger mistake than the United States believing that it’s land is safe across the ocean”.
After the sanctions announcement, China and North Korea’s foreign Ministry met on the sidelines of an ASEAN summit. Chinese foreign minister, Wang Li, told reporters he had urged the North Koreans to calmly handle the resolutions and quote “not do anything unbeneficial towards the International Community.” Yes, we wouldn’t want anything unbeneficial happening. But there’s a problem here, meaning besides the rogue received threatening to nuke the world, the problem is the China and the United States see that problem in fundamentally different ways. China says it’s confident the new UN sanctions on North Korea will bring the rogue state back to the negotiating table.
United States is not going to the negotiating table with an authoritarian regime with an obscene human rights record that consistently shows itself to be a belligerent threat to other countries. Unless it’s China, or Russia, or North Korea 10 years ago. The point is the US doesn’t want North Korea to think it can get what it wants through bombastic threats. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said “the US won’t sit down for talk with North Korea until it stops its nuclear and ballistic missile tests for an undisclosed but significant amount of time”.
The Chinese regime sees it differently, they see the United States as provoking North Korea. The Global Times calls it US moral arrogance. Both sides just to have a heart to heart discussion. Maybe not so ironically, this is the same line North Korea takes. While the US is to blame part, not the let’s have a heart-to-heart discussion part. What could realistically be done to de-escalate the situation? Well, China suggest that US could get rid of the fat missile defense system protecting South Korea from the northern attack. It absolutely wouldn’t have anything to do with China being worried THAAD could threaten Chinese missile strikes in the future, especially if say the United States does strike the North Korean regime and suddenly there are US troops on China’s borders.
But don’t worry, people sure the US won’t strike North Korea, don’t worry though. According to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that was just president Trump speaking to North Korea in language Kim Jong-Un can understand and North Korea proved Kim understood that language by saying that they would attack the US territory of Guam with an enveloping fire by launching missiles. They’re speaking the same language they’re having a heart-to-heart talk.
Seriously though, the most recent UN sanctions are a good start to dealing with North Korea’s nuclear threats and increasingly complicated issue that makes everyone look back fondly on the simple days when Kim Jong Ill would just stand around looking at stuffs. That’s another thing that US, China, and Russia can all agree on.