Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

N. Korea sanction loopholes give China room for manoeuvre: analysts
By Ben Dooley
Beijing (AFP) March 3, 2016

Russia urges N.Korea to draw 'right conclusions' from UN sanctions
Moscow (AFP) March 3, 2016 - Russia expressed hope Thursday that North Korea would "draw the right conclusions" and resume talks after the United Nations adopted the toughest sanctions to date on Pyongyang over its fourth nuclear test and rocket launch.

"We are hoping that the North Korean side will take this decision in an adequate manner, draw the right conclusions and return to the negotiating table to settle the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula," the foreign ministry said.

The UN Security Council measures adopted on Wednesday were the product of seven weeks of arduous negotiations between Washington and Beijing, Pyongyang's sole ally and main provider of trade and aid.

Russia -- which enjoys friendly ties with the Stalinist regime -- said the new resolution was "rather tough" but added world powers had no other choice.

"For the past 10 years North Korea has defiantly ignored Security Council demands," the foreign ministry said, adding that the global community could not accept "irresponsible 'games' with missile-borne nuclear weapons."

But Russia also expressed hope that the new resolution would not be interpreted as an excuse to worsen the plight of North Koreans, when it came to the economic and humanitarian situation in the country.

Moscow reiterated its warning to Washington not to deploy a missile defence system to South Korea that could "escalate tensions" in the region.

Hours after the United Nations adopted the sanctions North Korea fired six short-range projectiles into the sea in a new show of defiance.

The latest resolution ushered in the fifth set of UN sanctions on North Korea since it first tested an atomic device in 2006.

New United Nations sanctions against nuclear-armed North Korea are being touted as the "toughest ever", but loopholes leave plenty of room for Pyongyang's key economic supporter China to continue business as usual, analysts and diplomats said Thursday.

The Security Council measures are the product of seven weeks of arduous negotiations between Washington and Beijing, Pyongyang's sole ally and main provider of trade and aid.

In 2014, China accounted for more than 90 percent of North Korea's $7.61 billion in total trade, according to the latest available figures from South Korea's state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

But despite this potential leverage, Beijing has long resisted targeting Pyongyang's fragile economy over its atomic and missile ambitions.

The roots of their alliance were forged during the Korean War, and Beijing fears that a collapse of the regime would lead to a flood of refugees -- and worse, that a reunified Korea would see US troops stationed on its border.

US officials described the latest Security Council resolution as the toughest ever imposed on Pyongyang, which has repeatedly flouted the United Nations' edicts.

But one of the document's key provisos -- a ban on exports of coal, iron, gold, titanium and rare earth minerals from North Korea -- provides an exception if the proceeds do not go towards funding its nuclear or weapons programmes.

That determination, a US diplomat told AFP, is at the sole discretion of Pyongyang's trading partners. There is no requirement to report such transactions to the UN's sanctions committee.

"In practice, this provision means that China and other North Korean coal and iron importers will be able to take solace in vague language when they wish to", said Andrea Berger, an expert on Korean peninsula security issues at the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank in London.

"The most likely outcome of caveated sanctions on coal and iron trade is that there will be little systematic curbing of North Korean coal imports," she said, adding that China might simply make "periodic use of the measure to demonstrate displeasure with Pyongyang's actions: an occasional pinching action".

- 'Very reluctant' -

Trade with China is critical to the isolated, impoverished North, which has suffered regular food shortages.

According to Chinese Customs data, imports from North Korea totalled $2.56 billion last year, including $1.05 billion worth of coal and another $73 million of iron.

Washington has long held that changing North Korea's behaviour depends on China's willingness to pressure Pyongyang via its economic relationship.

Intense US lobbying on the new sanctions included a visit by Secretary of State John Kerry to Beijing, where his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi stressed that new sanctions should not hurt North Korean citizens or raise tensions.

China was "very reluctant" to stop importing minerals from North Korea, according to Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser for Asia at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Beijing "probably fought hard against economic sanctions", she said, adding that they "would have preferred to do the minimum, but the US insisted that there not be business as usual".

- 'Wait and see' -

North Korea has conducted four nuclear tests, most recently in January, and officials in Beijing frequently say they are powerless to rein in its neighbour, even as they urge stability on the peninsula.

Pyongyang's actions have put Beijing "in a very difficult situation", said Jin Qiangyi, professor of international politics at Yanbian University in the northeastern province of Jilin, which borders North Korea.

"The continued nuclear and missile tests by North Korea have posed a great threat to China and it has to take some measures", he said, suggesting that companies with links to the North's ruling Workers Party might be considered for targeting.

The UN Security Council has imposed four sets of sanctions on North Korea since it first tested an atomic device in 2006.

But there are "no indications that the country intends to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes", a UN panel of experts said in February, raising "serious questions about the efficacy of the current United Nations sanctions regime".

"We will have to wait and see whether the sanctions will change North Korea's determination," Jin said.

Pyongyang followed the latest resolution's passage with a volley of short-range projectiles into the sea off its eastern coast.

It seemed, Jin said, to be "sending out the message that it will not give in".

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
Learn about missile defense at
All about missiles at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
New N. Korean rocket turns enemy tanks into 'boiled pumpkin'
Seoul (AFP) Feb 27, 2016
North Korea on Saturday boasted of a newly developed anti-tank weapon that its leader said was so powerful it could turn the most heavily armoured enemy tanks into "boiled pumpkin". Pyongyang's state media said leader Kim Jong-Un had watched tests of the portable, laser-guided rocket and declared it had the "longest firing range in the world", and was "as accurate as a sniper's rifle". " ... read more

US Missile Defense Outdated

China Interfering in THAAD Deployment Decision Process Preposterous

Russian expert says THAAD deployment in S. Korea to raise regional tension

US missile system in S. Korea would hurt Seoul-Beijing ties: envoy

Russia negotiating S-300 missile systems' supplies to Iran

Saudi says it intercepted Scud missile from Yemen

Saab, Indian firm in joint venture for missile programs

Saudi Patriot 'intercepts' Scud fired from Yemen capital

Longer wings boost Predator B flight endurance time

New sensor payload capability available for Global Hawk

US failing to explain deadly drone policy: report

NASA Global Hawk Flies Pacific Storm Mission

Harris Corp. wins place on $12B Army radio contract

US Army Pacific exercise highlights joint communications for Pacific Theater

ViaSat tapped to provide tactical terminals for Apache helicopters

Harris wins place on military communications contract

Indian army makes candidates strip to foil cheating

Arsenal to produce lighter-weight mortar bipods

Scholz group sells tank dismantling company

Rheinmetall upgrading Polish Army's Leopard 2 tanks

EU lawmakers urge Saudi arms embargo

Jacobs Engineering leads pilot procurement project

Finmeccanica, Panama end contract disputes

Australia unveils 'massive' increase in defence spending

China to secure 'de facto' control of S. China Sea: US admiral

US presses Xi on South China Sea non-militarization

'Day will come' for woman to lead UN: UNDP boss Helen Clark

Beijing building radar in South China Sea: think tank

Stretchable nano-devices towards smart contact lenses

New ways to construct contactless magnetic gears

Scientists take nanoparticle snapshots

Scientists find a new way to make nanowire lasers

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement