North Korea and its long history of isolationism has been a double edged sword as it pertains to reigning in the reclusive nation’s nuclear ambitions.
With very, very few true allies to call upon, North Korea has been far too proud to admit when they are struggling. This has led to biblical-scale famine and poverty within the hermit kingdom, with neighbor China being the only international superpower with the will and the means to keep North Korea afloat. Unfortunately for North Korea, that means that diplomatic relations between the United States and China have been a priority of President Donald Trump, and Beijing is willing to play ball to keep the U.S. happy.
After previously refusing to buy coal from North Korea, a transaction that comprises 40% of the tiny nation’s GDP, China is now refusing to sell fuel to Kim Jong Un and his despotic regime.
“China National Petroleum Corp has suspended sales of fuel to North Korea over concerns the state-owned oil company won’t get paid, as pressure mounts on Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes, three sources told Reuters.
“It’s unclear how long the suspension will last. A prolonged cut would threaten critical supplies of fuel and force North Korea to find alternatives to its main supplier of diesel and gasoline, as scrutiny of China’s close commercial ties with its increasingly isolated neighbour intensifies.
“The United States has pressed China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea, but Beijing has said its influence on North Korea is limited and it is doing all it can.
“President Donald Trump, frustrated over Beijing’s inaction on North Korea and bilateral trade issues, is now considering possible trade actions against China, three senior administration officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
“The sources in China saw no sign yet that Beijing is cutting crude oil to Pyongyang. China has not disclosed its crude exports to North Korea for several years, but industry sources say it supplies via an aging pipeline about 520,000 tonnes of crude a year to North Korea, worth about $170 million at current market prices. “
North Korea’s continuous aggression on the world stage has been a cause for alarm for nation’s within a few hundred kilometers of the rogue nation.
The United States is, however, North Korea’s premiere target, at least in terms of military propaganda. Several mocked-up videos of the U.S. being annihilated by North Korean nuclear weapons have been released unto the public to help swell national pride in the face of ever-toughening economic hardships. As Kim Jong Un and his military continue to increase their long range missile capabilities with no regard for international pressure, Donald Trump will continue to influence the world around the dainty dictator, hoping for a peaceful end to the regime’s posturing.