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World Panorama with Dr. Cletus Akwaya

North Korea: How Far Can US Go Without China’s Cooperation?

Dr. Cletus Akwaya:
Email: contact@dailyasset.ng

If recent threats by US President, Donald Trump are anything to go by, it can be said that time is running out for the regime in North Korea. Pundits however, expressed reservations about the efficacy of US threats as they said dealing with North Korea may not be an easy task nor a walk over as Trump’s threats seem to suggest.
On May 30, when Trump received South Korean President, Moon Jae-in in the White House, he was very clear as to the next line of action Washington would adopt against Pyongyang.
“The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed. … Frankly, that patience is over,” Trump remarked stressing “the North Korean dictatorship has no regard for the safety and security of its people or its neighbours and has no respect for human life — and that’s been proven over and over again.”
North Korea’s continued effort at building nuclear capabilities has set the small Asian country against US and indeed the international community, which has through the UN imposed a series of sanctions in the bid to get the country drop its nuclear weapons development Programme. The country angered US the more when on May 30 it tested yet another missile, the third in three weeks.
The latest missile launch coincided with the meeting of the G.7 countries whose members wasted no time in approving fresh sanctions against Pyongyang.
In line with his threat, President Trump announced sanctions against a Chinese bank, Bank of Bandong , a Shipping company, Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co Ltd and two Chinese citizens, Sun Wei and Li Hong Ri, all accused of helping North Korea’s nuclear Programme.
The sanctions announced by Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin are intended to “cut off” finances to North Korea. In announcing the sanctions, Mnuchin alleged the Bank of Bandong was serving as “a conduit for illicit North Korean financial activity” and facilitated “millions of dollars of transactions for companies involved in North Korea’s WMD and ballistic missile programmes”.
“We will follow the money and cut off the money,” Mnuchin said at a press conference while announcing the sanctions hinting that more sanctions might be on the way.
Analysts have reasoned that with the sanctions, the Bank of Bandong could be avoided by American banks in coordinating international transactions, just as Analysts said some international banks might also avoid the bank for the sake of their reputation.
In a reaction to the development, Beijing flayed Washington’s latest stance warning that the new sanctions could jeopardize the existing cordial relations being built between leaders of both countries. Spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Lu Kang in an official reaction to the development said he hoped the US will correct its mistakes and get ties back on track “so as to avoid cooperation in important areas being impacted”. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the US action went “against the important spirit” of the friendly meeting held in April between US President Donald Trump and Chinese Leader, President Xi Jinping.
The sanctions on the Bank Bandong came on the heels of America’s decision to sale $1.4billion worth of arms to Taiwan, a move which Chinese authorities described as “wrong decision”.
Chinese Embassy in Washington was clear in its rejection of the deal and called for its immediate revocation. “The Chinese government and Chinese people have every right to be outraged,” the embassy said, adding the arms deal was capable of sending wrong signals to “Taiwan independence forces”.
This is not the first time US would menace China with an arms deal with Taiwan. In 2010, US companies indicated they would supply $6.4billion worth of arms, a move that was stoutly resisted by China with threats to review its trading terms with America.
As it appears, China might still be a distance away from cooperating with the US to “solve” the North Korean issue especially as Beijing has repeatedly said it was opposed to any level of sanctions outside the UN framework.
Last week, a senior White House official told reporters China was “falling far short of what it could bring to bear on North Korea in terms of pressure.”
North Korea which shared the communist ideology with China is geographically a neighbour and seen in international circles as constituting part of China’s sphere of influence in regional and international politics. It is against this background that America has consistently sought China’s cooperation before taking any drastic action against North Korea.
While China has in principle opposed the nuclear Programme in North Korea, it favors negotiation instead of military action in getting Pyongyang behave properly on the issue of nuclear weapons production.
In an obvious “ frustration” with China, Trump might be considering possible trade actions against Beijing, sources hinted. But given America’s huge indebtedness to China through bonds and the impressive balance of trade between the two countries, it remains to be seen how Trump would chose that option to secure China’s support.
China’s opposition to military action not withstanding, America appears determined to push sanctions against North Korea and if possible adopt further measures including military action to deter the country from It’s rogue acts. This resolve formed the basis of last week’s meeting in White House between Trump and South Korean President, Jae-in. The meeting dwelt largely on what to with North Korea just as Trump sought more support from allies in the Korean Peninsula, notably South Korea and Japan to deal with the North Korean situation.
In a tweet after the meeting President Trump said “just finished a very good meeting with the President of South Korea. Many subjects discussed including North Korea and new trade deal!” .
On his part, the visiting President Jae-in also affirmed his country’s readiness to collaborate with US against North Korea. “Together we will achieve the dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear programme, peace on the Korean Peninsula and eventually peace in Northeast Asia, “ he stated.
Although President Trump had made it clear on assumption of office that he would do everything possible to compel North Korea drop its ambitious weapons Programme, his last week’s threats are a reaction to the most recent happenings and conduct by North Korea.
A case in point is the death of an American student, Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after he was released from detention in North Korea. There have been outpouring of emotions from Americans since the incident. This, may have further pressured Trump to issue his latest threats.
More over, Pyongyang has not relented on the nuclear tests, which have been a constant source of tension. Only recently, it fired a rocket which soared to an altitude five times higher than the International Space Station, sources familiar with the situation said.
The missile which was launched May 14, crashed into the ocean about 490 miles away from the launch site. North Korean state owned media claimed the missile had reached an altitude of 1312 miles (2,111.5km).
The test rocket which was fired into space, could reach US territory especially border places like Alaska and Guam if fired at the correct trajectory, experts explained.
Against this background therefore, experts contended that with such feat, North Korea was close to achieving its threat to develop a missile capable of attacking American territory. This possibility may have unsettled Trump, hence his recent threats.
North Korea is not taking the American threat for granted. In a swift reaction, a spokesman for the regime accused the Trump administration of “running riot” , alleging that the US wanted to launch “a preemptive nuclear strike” North Korea. “What merits more serious attention is the fact that the US is hyping its outrageous military pressure on the DPRK through media, continuously bringing its lethal hardware for a nuclear war to the peninsula,” the spokesman said in a statement circulated through the numerous propaganda channels of the North Korean regime.
“The Trump administration should not run riot, thinking twice about the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its foolhardy military moves.
“It should properly understand the spirit and will of the Korean army and people to annihilate the enemy and finally conclude the standoff with the US,” the statement further warned.
As it stands, it is a situation of threats, repeated threats and counter threats while the international community is on edge in anticipation of possible military confrontation.
But how soon President Trump brings his threats on North Korea to concrete action especially without China’s cooperation is what remains uncertain.
North Korea: How Far Can US Go Without China’s Cooperation?
If recent threats by US President, Donald Trump are anything to go by, it can be said that time is running out for the regime in North Korea. Pundits however, expressed reservations about the efficacy of US threats as they said dealing with North Korea may not be an easy task nor a walk over as Trump’s threats seem to suggest.
On May 30, when Trump received South Korean President, Moon Jae-in in the White House, he was very clear as to the next line of action Washington would adopt against Pyongyang.
“The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed. … Frankly, that patience is over,” Trump remarked stressing “the North Korean dictatorship has no regard for the safety and security of its people or its neighbours and has no respect for human life — and that’s been proven over and over again.”
North Korea’s continued effort at building nuclear capabilities has set the small Asian country against US and indeed the international community, which has through the UN imposed a series of sanctions in the bid to get the country drop its nuclear weapons development Programme. The country angered US the more when on May 30 it tested yet another missile, the third in three weeks.
The latest missile launch coincided with the meeting of the G.7 countries whose members wasted no time in approving fresh sanctions against Pyongyang.
In line with his threat, President Trump announced sanctions against a Chinese bank, Bank of Bandong , a Shipping company, Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co Ltd and two Chinese citizens, Sun Wei and Li Hong Ri, all accused of helping North Korea’s nuclear Programme.
The sanctions announced by Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin are intended to “cut off” finances to North Korea. In announcing the sanctions, Mnuchin alleged the Bank of Bandong was serving as “a conduit for illicit North Korean financial activity” and facilitated “millions of dollars of transactions for companies involved in North Korea’s WMD and ballistic missile programmes”.
“We will follow the money and cut off the money,” Mnuchin said at a press conference while announcing the sanctions hinting that more sanctions might be on the way.
Analysts have reasoned that with the sanctions, the Bank of Bandong could be avoided by American banks in coordinating international transactions, just as Analysts said some international banks might also avoid the bank for the sake of their reputation.
In a reaction to the development, Beijing flayed Washington’s latest stance warning that the new sanctions could jeopardize the existing cordial relations being built between leaders of both countries. Spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Lu Kang in an official reaction to the development said he hoped the US will correct its mistakes and get ties back on track “so as to avoid cooperation in important areas being impacted”. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the US action went “against the important spirit” of the friendly meeting held in April between US President Donald Trump and Chinese Leader, President Xi Jinping.
The sanctions on the Bank Bandong came on the heels of America’s decision to sale $1.4billion worth of arms to Taiwan, a move which Chinese authorities described as “wrong decision”.
Chinese Embassy in Washington was clear in its rejection of the deal and called for its immediate revocation. “The Chinese government and Chinese people have every right to be outraged,” the embassy said, adding the arms deal was capable of sending wrong signals to “Taiwan independence forces”.
This is not the first time US would menace China with an arms deal with Taiwan. In 2010, US companies indicated they would supply $6.4billion worth of arms, a move that was stoutly resisted by China with threats to review its trading terms with America.
As it appears, China might still be a distance away from cooperating with the US to “solve” the North Korean issue especially as Beijing has repeatedly said it was opposed to any level of sanctions outside the UN framework.
Last week, a senior White House official told reporters China was “falling far short of what it could bring to bear on North Korea in terms of pressure.”
North Korea which shared the communist ideology with China is geographically a neighbour and seen in international circles as constituting part of China’s sphere of influence in regional and international politics. It is against this background that America has consistently sought China’s cooperation before taking any drastic action against North Korea.
While China has in principle opposed the nuclear Programme in North Korea, it favors negotiation instead of military action in getting Pyongyang behave properly on the issue of nuclear weapons production.
In an obvious “ frustration” with China, Trump might be considering possible trade actions against Beijing, sources hinted. But given America’s huge indebtedness to China through bonds and the impressive balance of trade between the two countries, it remains to be seen how Trump would chose that option to secure China’s support.
China’s opposition to military action not withstanding, America appears determined to push sanctions against North Korea and if possible adopt further measures including military action to deter the country from It’s rogue acts. This resolve formed the basis of last week’s meeting in White House between Trump and South Korean President, Jae-in. The meeting dwelt largely on what to with North Korea just as Trump sought more support from allies in the Korean Peninsula, notably South Korea and Japan to deal with the North Korean situation.
In a tweet after the meeting President Trump said “just finished a very good meeting with the President of South Korea. Many subjects discussed including North Korea and new trade deal!” .
On his part, the visiting President Jae-in also affirmed his country’s readiness to collaborate with US against North Korea. “Together we will achieve the dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear programme, peace on the Korean Peninsula and eventually peace in Northeast Asia, “ he stated.
Although President Trump had made it clear on assumption of office that he would do everything possible to compel North Korea drop its ambitious weapons Programme, his last week’s threats are a reaction to the most recent happenings and conduct by North Korea.
A case in point is the death of an American student, Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after he was released from detention in North Korea. There have been outpouring of emotions from Americans since the incident. This, may have further pressured Trump to issue his latest threats.
More over, Pyongyang has not relented on the nuclear tests, which have been a constant source of tension. Only recently, it fired a rocket which soared to an altitude five times higher than the International Space Station, sources familiar with the situation said.
The missile which was launched May 14, crashed into the ocean about 490 miles away from the launch site. North Korean state owned media claimed the missile had reached an altitude of 1312 miles (2,111.5km).
The test rocket which was fired into space, could reach US territory especially border places like Alaska and Guam if fired at the correct trajectory, experts explained.
Against this background therefore, experts contended that with such feat, North Korea was close to achieving its threat to develop a missile capable of attacking American territory. This possibility may have unsettled Trump, hence his recent threats.
North Korea is not taking the American threat for granted. In a swift reaction, a spokesman for the regime accused the Trump administration of “running riot” , alleging that the US wanted to launch “a preemptive nuclear strike” North Korea. “What merits more serious attention is the fact that the US is hyping its outrageous military pressure on the DPRK through media, continuously bringing its lethal hardware for a nuclear war to the peninsula,” the spokesman said in a statement circulated through the numerous propaganda channels of the North Korean regime.
“The Trump administration should not run riot, thinking twice about the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its foolhardy military moves.
“It should properly understand the spirit and will of the Korean army and people to annihilate the enemy and finally conclude the standoff with the US,” the statement further warned.
As it stands, it is a situation of threats, repeated threats and counter threats while the international community is on edge in anticipation of possible military confrontation.
But how soon President Trump brings his threats on North Korea to concrete action especially without China’s cooperation is what remains uncertain

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