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North Korea-U.S. tussle may eventually drag China into the conflict

Tensions between US and North Korea have escalated to the highest point in years as President Donald Trump and defiant leader Kim Jong un are engaged in exchanging provocative statements or rhetoric, there seems less chances of any diplomatic settlement to the Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile issue.

After Trump declared the end to an “era of strategic patience” with North Korea in June this year i.e. 2017 consequently North Korea increased missile launches and went ahead with the testing of sixth most powerful Nuclear bomb.

Earlier, the statements for US was issued by KCNA (Korean Central news Agency of DPRK) but now they have moved ahead as statements are being issued by North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, Diplomats and even leader.

While Trump as usual promotes his policy, views and strategies through Twitter social networking site which is actually against the considered official order. Trump has said that North Korea is a “rogue nation,” a “great threat,” “hostile and dangerous,” “looking for trouble” and “behaving very badly.” In August he said that if North Korea didn’t stop threatening the U.S., it would be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Recently, Trump has referred to Kim as “Rocket Man.

North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, has issued a withering riposte to Donald Trump, likening his threat to destroy the regime to the “sound of a dog barking”, adding that he “felt sorry” for the US president’s advisers.

Trump after entering White House against his administration wishes, outsourced the problem of resolving North Korean nuclear and missile issue to China in exchange of some trade concessions. But the result was amply clear with North Korea testing sixth nuclear test and the recent threat of missile attack on Guam and renewal of missile attack by them on 15 September, 2017 over Hokaidu, Japan, demonstrating its capability to attack U.S strategic military base in Guam. Although North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests in the last decade and more than 20 ballistic missile tests in 2016 alone.

But there are other important factors that need to be looked into and analysed, North Korea is having close ties with Pakistan, China and Russia.

First, China has been using North Korea for its strategic purpose and to enhance its stature in the world militarily and helping Pakistan to develop and become economically stronger against India. Pyongyang who had in the past received nuclear technology from Pakistan and Russia, has now upgraded to such a level that there exists a concern for a reverse flow of nuke technology from Pyongyang to Pakistan.

The United Nations Security Council is likely to slash North Korea’s oil supply by one-third through the sanctions passed on Sept. 11 in response to the country’s latest nuclear test.

But there are reports that more than a dozen ships left Russia with a cargo load of fuel to their supposed destinations of China and South Korea but headed to North Korea and unloaded the supplies of fuel thereby in violations of the UN sanctions against a cap on fuel imports under UN sanctions.

United States officials say that in order to evade sanctions, North Korea has been using the tactics of changing destinations of ships mid-voyage.

In 1993, the Council approved Resolution 825 calling on North Korea to remain in the Nonproliferation Treaty. That didn’t work. North Korea withdrew from the treaty and continued its nuclear pursuit.

In 2006, the Six Party Talks faltered, and North Korea conducted several ballistic missile launches. That led to Resolution 1695 condemning them.

The same year, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test. That led to Resolution 1718, establishing a UN sanctions regime, aiming to stop all nuclear, ballistic missile, and other weapons of mass destruction programs.

After Six Party Talks fell apart again in 2009, North Korea conducted additional missile launches and its second nuclear test. That led to Resolution 1874, which expanded sanctions, including an arms embargo and cargo inspection obligations.

In 2012, the Leap Day Deal failed, and North Korea conducted two new space launches. The Security Council responded with the adoption of Resolution 2087.

Following North Korea’s third nuclear test in 2013, the Council adopted Resolution 2094, expanding sanctions to restrict financial, maritime, aviation, and diplomatic activities.

By 2016, North Korea had conducted its fourth nuclear test and another space launch. They followed that with more missile launches. In response, the Council adopted multiple resolutions expanding sanctions even further, targeting whole sectors of North Korea’s economy.

Finally, this year, the Council got even more serious.

First, we adopted Resolution 2356 designating high-ranking North Korean government officials and the military’s Strategic Rocket Forces Command for individual sanctions. Then, just last month, after the regime’s first two ICBM launches, we adopted Resolution 2371 – the strongest sanctions we have ever imposed on North Korea.

That resolution banned North Korean exports of coal, iron, and seafood, and imposed several other measures that will significantly cut off the revenues needed to fund their nuclear program.

There is a possibility of war breaking out between North Korea and U.S. and China may be dragged into that war as in 1950.

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By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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