Chinese President Xi 'Could Do a Little Bit More' on North Korea

Saturday, 15 Jul, 2017

And, in the process big news events such as coming out of North Korean belligerent nuke capable ICBMs tests and China's assertive foreign policy objectives and the magnitude of threat that these events pose to the western civilisation remain sharply attenuated.

Then-Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo said in in February of previous year, "We've made a decision to completely suspend operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex to prevent our investment there from being used to develop nuclear warheads and missiles".

Meantime, Pyongyang has warned any military confrontation will "inevitably lead the U.S. to self-destruction", and vowed to "turn America into a pile of ash".

Last month, the Security Council imposed a fresh array of sanctions on Pyongyang in response to a number of missile tests carried out this year. By demonstrating that it can project diplomatic influence in the Asia-Pacific region and act independently from China, Russia increases its credibility as a strategic partner for Southeast Asia countries seeking to hedge their alignments with Washington, like Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand.

China has imported less refined copper this year amid tough restrictions on dollar-denominated credit, and as buyers turned instead to cheaper scrap metal after a recovery in copper prices prompted a flood of scrap into the market earlier this year. How can the tension be eased? China may still be confident the crisis on the Korean Peninsula will never spiral out of control.

In the 1980s and 1990s, North Korea was a major supplier of iron ore to Chinese steelmakers, according to Philip Kirchlechner, director of Iron Ore Research Pty in Perth. Russian Federation has tried to convey its anti-THAAD opinions to South Korea by highlighting its limited defensive capacity against North Korean artillery.

The Trump administration has laid out its North Korea policy as "maximum pressure and engagement".

Trump must be aware that if the United States' worldwide isolation becomes deeper, it could have a smaller voice and its influence on the North Korea issue may be restricted.

The writer served for more than 20 years as a strategic and policy analyst and planner in the Defense and State Departments, and was an assistant professor of political science and global relations at Yale. Artillery dating back to the Second World war, which the North has plenty of, can easily reach Seoul and create untold carnage, with very little that could be done to prevent it. Donald Trump either did not understand this - in other words, a failure on his part to understand the relationship - or he was just trying to do arm-twisting against China.

The surprising trade data comes ahead of US-China talks in Washington next week where they are expected to assess the results of a 100-day action plan aimed at improving trade ties between the economic rivals. The United States has the capability and position to selectively and strongly apply pressure to North Korea via diplomacy and sanctions, and South Korea does indeed have a privileged role in working with the North.