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Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

China Threatens To Cut Off Oil To North Korea

Yes, this is a surprise for many. Captain Ed picked this story up this story from the New York Times today:

China is prepared to step up pressure on North Korea in coming weeks by reducing oil shipments, among other measures, if the country refuses to return to negotiations or conducts more nuclear tests, Chinese government advisers and scholars who have discussed the matter with the leadership say.

If Beijing does take a tougher line on its neighbor and longtime ally, the action is likely to bolster its relationship with the
United States. Washington has urged Chinese leaders to use all the tools at their disposal to put additional pressure on Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader.

Among the most potent of those tools is oil. China provides an estimated 80 to 90 percent of North Korea’s oil imports, shipped by pipeline at undisclosed prices that Chinese officials say represent a steep discount from the world market price. Any reduction in that aid could severely hamper North Korea’s already faltering economy.

Several leading Chinese experts said senior officials had indicated in the past week that they planned to slap new penalties on North Korea going beyond the ban on sales of military equipment imposed by the
United Nations. But they would be likely to hold off if Mr. Kim agreed to return soon to multilateral talks North Korea has boycotted since September 2005. Years of talks have produced meager results.

Discussions about how to respond to the nuclear test, which was described by one expert as a “political earthquake” for Chinese leaders, come amid a flurry of diplomacy aimed at ironing out enforcement of United Nations sanctions and luring Mr. Kim back to negotiations.

If implemented, this could prove to be disastrous for North Korea. They already have barely enough power to conduct business during the day. If China were to implement this, they would collapse. They get such resources from no other nation, which leaves China in the driver's seat, as they always have been.And yes, China wants them back at the negotiating table for a host of reasons, but the single most important reason is to end the saber-rattling which is making other nations in the region extremely nervous.

Japan is still deliberating over whether or not they are going to lift the provision of their constitution to allow a standing army and navy, rather than the security forces they possess now. They are also debating whether or not it is a good thing to begin work on a nuclear program of their own, of which the goal is to achieve a nuclear weapon to use in it's own defense against North Korea. Some people have forgotten that during his last missile test, Kim whizzed a couple missiles over Japan, and it really ticked off the Japanese.

china has plans for the region, and they cannot fulfill them if they have to face off against the Japanese. They also cannot accomplish anything if every time they turn around, Kim is screaming for attention. And China has decided that it might start to play rough with North Korea. And Kim is not going to even try pushing China's patience; they vastly outnumber his nuclear stockpile. And there are the rumblings from China that they may very well support a regime change on the Korean Peninsula. Coupled with an energy embargo, that has got to have Kim a little nervous.

But these are tactics China wants to use to bring them back to the bargaining table. We support the use of diplomacy (right now) with North Korea, and have stated that we will only negotiate through the six-nation talks. Kim is stuck between a rock and a "hard case" here, and he will have to make a serious decision. Does he stop his program, return to the talks, and hammer out a workable deal, or does he get cut off and isolated, and watch his country die around him? The ball is literally back in Kim's court now.


UPDATE: Bryan @ Hot Air also takes notice of a Guardian report that states that China looking to reinforce United Nations sanctions with moves of it's own. Though the Guardian report does not address issues like the fuel that China gives to North Korea, it does note that the border is being tightened right now between North Korea and China, and points out that were China to cut off trade with their neighbor, North Korea could be in some serious jeoprady.


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