North Korea Says China `Dancing to US Tune' in Rare Spat

US PresidentDonald Trump told Reuters news agency on Thursday that the US "appreciated" the import ban adding that China had "tremendous control" over North Korea. China is strongly opposed to the THAAD ABM system scheduled to be deployed in South Korea.

"This move reflects China's responsible attitude on the Korean nuclear issue and its sincerity in implementing U.N. Security Council resolutions", Geng said, referring to the ban.

"It's very late. We're very angry at what he's done, and frankly, this should have been taken care of during the Obama administration", Trump said. "We're very angry at what he's done".

Exports of North Korea coal to China - recently suspended for the remainder of 2017 - continued because of a trade arrangement that included kickbacks for Chinese intermediaries, an analyst said. But South Korea "kicked up a fuss" and plotted to have Pyongyang blamed for the killing, the report said. Coal has amounted to 34 to 40 percent of North Korean exports, all of which were shipped to China.

Without China's backing, North Korea's capabilities are limited as far as military strength is concerned.

North Korea has issued a veiled, rare attack on its traditional ally China after it halted coal imports from Pyongyang as part of sanctions to rein in its nuclear weapons programme. Territorial, economic, and geopolitical concerns have turned China into the Kim dynasty's lifeline. "They're going to solve the problem for us.' That's the wrong way to understand what's going on", said John Delury, an associate professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul.

A clue to China's unexpected stiff-arm of North Korean coal came last Friday, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Germany. China, however, asserts that the North Korean nuclear threat is strictly between Pyongyang and Washington.

But it made exceptions for deliveries intended for "the people's wellbeing" and not connected to the nuclear or missile programs. It suggested that North Korea has learned how to fire such weapons at short notice, from hard-to-detect mobile launchers. North Korea is notably lacking in either. It is now up to the Trump administration to take advantage of the situation.

On Thursday, February 23, North Korea responded to the coal sanctions with an uncharacteristic public criticism of China.

Trump, who sees himself as a dealmaker and who has been critical of his predecessors, could be willing to break with the past and try a more unconventional approach. "This would earn Donald Trump the Nobel Peace prize".

Any deal to get even a temporary nuclear freeze from Pyongyang will require real concessions that could include the suspension of U.S.

  • Leroy Wright