North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un continues to push the world closer to war.
His rogue nuclear weapons program threatens global conflict.
But he never imagined it would lead to this.
China is North Korea’s benefactor.
Trade with Beijing, as well as economic support, keeps North Korea afloat.
China fears that if the North Korean government collapses, they will face a massive influx of refugees.
One area of commerce is fuel.
China’s state oil agency sells North Korea petroleum so they have energy to allow their country to function.
That all changed.
China’s National Petroleum Corporation has suspended business with North Korea over concerns their nuclear weapons program could lead to global conflict and disrupt payments.
China National Petroleum Corp has suspended sales of fuel to North Korea over concerns the state-owned oil company won’t get paid, as pressure mounts on Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear and missile programs, three sources told Reuters.
It’s unclear how long the suspension will last. A prolonged cut would threaten critical supplies of fuel and force North Korea to find alternatives to its main supplier of diesel and gasoline, as scrutiny of China’s close commercial ties with its increasingly isolated neighbor intensifies.
CNPC and the Ministry of Commerce did not respond to requests for comment. North Korea’s embassy in Beijing declined to comment.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang, asked about the sale suspension and whether the Chinese government put pressure on CNPC to make this decision, said: “I do not understand this situation you are talking about” and declined to elaborate.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter said CNPC decided to put fuel sales on hold “over the last month or two” and described it as a “commercial decision.”
“It’s no longer worth the risks,” said the source. Chinese and international banks are stepping up compliance checks on companies dealing with countries on the U.S. sanctions list, such as North Korea, he said.
This could also be seen as China exerting economic pressure in order to force North Korea to back down.
Trump was criticized in the media for not labeling China a currency manipulator, but it was part of a bigger strategy.
He needed China’s help to diffuse the North Korea situation, and there was no need to antagonize them right off the bat when he was counting on their assistance.
The move paid off.
China’s leaders are using the leverage they have to try and get North Korea to pull back from the brink.
War is in no one’s interest.