Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Korean crisis - 05/01/2017

Korea Times: "China Bracing For Emergency Situation Involving North Korea"

1 May, 2017

With the North Korean situation tense after Friday's latest failed missile attempt, the South Korea's Korea Times reports that a Chinese town near the border with North Korea is "urgently" recruiting Korean-Chinese interpreters, "stirring speculation that China is bracing for an emergency situation involving its nuclear-armed neighbor."

The Korea Times cites The Oriental Daily, a Hong Kong-based news outlet, which reportedly published the story on Apr. 27, including a photo of a Chinese government document ordering the town of Dandong to recruit an unspecified number of Korean-Chinese interpreters to work at 10 departments in the town, including border security, public security, trade, customs and quarantine.

The document did not specify the reason behind the unusual, large-scale recruiting. But experts and local citizens said the move indicated that China was bracing for a possible military clash between the United States and North Korea.

The Korean outlet goes on to speculate that this "might trigger a huge exodus of North Koreans to border towns in China."

Whether this dismal scenario will become a reality is largely up to North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that the world's superpower will strike North Korea's nuclear facilities if Kim proceeds with a sixth nuclear test or test fires an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Dandong administration also has ordered its officials to work rotating night shifts since April 25, according to South Korea's news agency Yonhap.

Meanwhile, China has dismissed recent reports that it has sent 150,000 additional troops to its border with the North.


Further North Korea Nuclear Testing May Goad China Into Oil Embargo

1 May, 2017


Chinese diplomatic analysts believe further nuclear tests by North Korea could push Beijing over the edge,prompting an oil embargo that would deal a devastating blow to Pyongyang’s stability.


US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Fox News that he had been informed that China would be taking sanctions actions on their own,” should Pyongyang conduct another nuclear test.







Crude oil is very likely to be included as part of new U.N. sanctions if North Korea continues with its provocative nuclear tests, and China will almost certainly endorse such an effort,” Sun Xingjie, an expert on North Korea from Jilin University said on the matter.

International sanctions against North Korea have been in place for the past several years, with the most recent United Nations-backed round targeting the country’s shipping network. A Chinese oil embargo would likely debilitate Kin Jong-un’s government.


Instead of an oil embargo of just one or two months, which is unlikely to have a major impact on North Korea’s strategic oil reserves, we are talking about a halt in Chinese crude oil supplies for at least six months. That would be a real nightmare for Kim, said Sun.

The expert said Beijing would likely require a mandate from the U.N. to take new actions against Pyongyang absent further nuclear activity.
Gasoline prices in North Korea jumped by as much as 83 percent this week on the back of reports that China is mulling over crude sanctions for the unruly neighbor.

While China has historically supported—above all—the stability of the Pyongyang regime as a means of avoiding a refugee crisis should the political system there collapse, now it is putting equal weight on regime stability and the denuclearization of that same regime.



North Korea responds to US pressure with fighting words




North Korea threatened to sink the USS Carl Vinson and a US submarine near the Korean peninsula, and its foreign ministry declared that Kim Jong Un could conduct a nuclear test “at any time.” Despite President Donald Trump’s suggestion last week that South Korea should pay for a billion-dollar missile defense system the US is building there, it has been confirmed that the US will pay for it after all. RT America’s Simone Del Rosario reports from South Korea on the simmering regional crisis



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