Analytical Instrumentation

Which Exports is China Limiting to North Korea?

Oct 18 2017 Comments 0

It's no secret that relations between China and North Korea aren't exactly peachy. Now, Beijing is flexing its muscles and enforcing UN sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic. In a bid to calm tensions China has agreed to ban exports of some petroleum products to North Korea. It's also agreed to place a sanction on textile imports from the isolated country. The move falls in line with a United Nations security council resolution that was passed after Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test sent shockwaves across the globe.

War of words sparks North Korea sanctions

The move follows a very public feud between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, who publicly traded insults in late September. Trump called his North Korean counterpart a “Rocket Man" on a "suicide mission" while Jong-un accused Trump of being a “mentally deranged US dotard."

After a fiery war of words between the American President and the North Korean Chairman, the Chinese ministry of commerce has confirmed that exports of refined petroleum products will be limited from October onwards. Exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas have also been stopped, as per strict UN sanctions. As well as cutting of its supply of oil and gas, China has also placed an immediate ban on the import of textiles from North Korea.

US follows suit

China isn't the only nation cutting off its supply chain, with Trump also announcing new sanctions. US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin backed the move, stating that banks doing business in North Korea would not be allowed to operate in the US.

The sanctions have garnered praise from across the globe, with Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop maintaining that cutting of oil exports to North Korea is a key move in forcing North Korea to cease its nuclear missile programmes.

“I actually believe oil is the game changer in the sanctions regime,” she says. "China is clearly open to using its undoubted leverage – economic leverage."

She goes on to assert that it could be diplomatic, not economic leverage that could have the biggest sway on bringing North Korea to the negotiating table.  

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