North Korea Takes Massive Hit…From China, World Stage Now Evolves In Never-Before-Seen Shift
North Korea is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. They have a mentally-unstable leader who is more than happy to kill anyone who gets in his way, including family. They are attempting to create nuclear weapons to use for their own personal reasons, and that has several nations worried.
As a result of the constant nuclear testing, the United Nations has placed sanctions on the country, effectively crippling their economy. The only people that are well off in the nation include those connected to their leader. The rest of the population suffers rampant disease and starvation.
One of their only exports to keep the nation’s economy afloat, albeit barely, is coal. Coal exports go to mainly China and as a result the North Korean government uses those funds from the coal to increase their military and nuclear testing avenues.
That has changed completely, as China has announced that they are stopping all coal imports from North Korea. The Ministry of Commerce said so on Saturday, although failed to go into specifics on why this has happened. This is going to deliver quite a blow to the North Korean economy, which was already weak to start off with.
As mentioned earlier, coal is one of the main sources of income for North Korea. It has also been targeted immensely by the United Nations following every North Korean nuclear test, in efforts to stop the nation from trying these tests.
After North Korea had its fourth nuclear test last February, the United Nations Security Council had passed UNSC Resolution 2270. What it did was place restrictions on North Korea’s coal export. However there were specific exceptions through “livelihood purposes.”
China has been accused of misusing this loophole to continue importing the coal coming from North Korea. It’s been claimed that China has done this to reduce the international pressure on Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.
After that, China originally agreed to reduce the coal imports last April. That didn’t last too long as by August, the coal imports skyrocketed. In August, China imported nearly 2.5 million tons of coal from North Korea. As a whole for 2016, China imported almost 22.5 million tons of coal, which is good for a year-on-year increase of 14.5 percent.
However North Korea didn’t learn its lesson as they continued to conduct nuclear tests. After their fifth test in September, the UNSC ended up passing UNSC Resolution 2321, which again went after North Korea’s coal exports. The resolution put a cap on North Korean coal exports, effectively reducing the revenue for the coal by approximately $700 million.
It didn’t cut off coal exports completely, but it did put a significant strain on North Korea’s annual export earnings. The move effectively cut the earnings by about 25 percent. North Korea only has $3 billion in annual export earnings, so this move was harsh to say the least.
Now, North Korea takes another huge hit as China has stopped all coal imports from the nation from February 19 until the end of the year. Considering that China was responsible for importing almost 22.5 million tons of coal last year, this is going to diminish even more funds available for weapons development and other military purposes.
It should be noted that this move followed a meeting between United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Friday. They were on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Bonn, Germany. Department of State spokesman Mark Toner released a statement that said Tillerson “highlighted the increasing threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and urged China to use all available tools to moderate North Korea’s destabilizing behavior.”
China has been increasingly unsatisfied with Pyongyang. North Korea has tested new ballistic missiles, nuclear missiles, and over two dozen missile tests last year and the start of this year. China has publicly condemned those actions. This could be the reason that they have denied the coal shipments, as following last week’s ballistic missile test, China did refuse a shipment of coal at their port. So far, nothing has been said on why they have done that.
Those ballistic missile attempts mentioned did occur last week. What made it so dangerous is the fact that they had fired the missiles eastward, towards the United States. Along the way, it had been fired over the nation of Japan, worrying them at the same time as worrying the United States.
That has not sat well with the defense leaders of the United States. In fact, the Pentagon released a statement themselves, saying that they would address the defiance of North Korea immediately. This is a far cry from the wait-and-see tactics that we saw with President Obama. It just shows that if President Donald Trump and his staff see a threat, they will address it immediately.
Share this article to show that China has taken steps to further cripple the North Korean economy. They are not accepting any more coal shipments from the secluded nation, and that means that North Korea will have even less money to do further nuclear testing. It’s a bold move, and one that could prevent more testing.