Xtra News Community 2
October 24, 2018, 02:42:32 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Welcome to Xtra News Community 2 — please also join our XNC2-BACKUP-GROUP.
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links BITEBACK! XNC2-BACKUP-GROUP Staff List Login Register  

China will ignore Tump's demands over North Korea


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: China will ignore Tump's demands over North Korea  (Read 93 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29144


Having fun in the hills!


« on: September 04, 2017, 10:29:46 pm »


from The Washington Post....

The timing of North Korea's nuke test could not be worse for China's leader

Xi Jinping has been preparing for the National Congress of the Communist Party of China,
a twice-a-decade political meeting next month that is a chance for him to prove he has
consolidated power and has a plan for China for the years ahead.


By EMILY RAUHALA | 5:04AM EDT - Monday, September 04, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for the opening ceremony of a summit that includes officials from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa on Sunday. — Photograph: Associated Press.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for the opening ceremony of a summit that includes officials from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
on Sunday. — Photograph: Associated Press.


BEIJING — President Xi Jinping does not like surprises. That hasn't stopped Kim Jong Un or President Trump.

On Sunday, hours before the Chinese president delivered a keynote speech on his country's diplomatic prowess, North Korea tested a nuclear bomb, stealing his spotlight.

Then, as China's state press struggled to keep the spotlight on Xi, Trump woke up and weighed in, tweeting that  North Korea has become a “great threat and embarrassment to China.”

Trump later tweeted that the U.S. is considering cutting trade with all countries that do business with North Korea — including, presumably, China.

Asked about the trade tweet at a regular press conference on Monday, Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, called it “unacceptable”.

The unwelcome interruptions show just what Xi is up against as he decides how to respond to North Korea's provocations and pressure from an unpredictable U.S. president, while also preparing for a twice-a-decade political meeting next month.

“China has been cornered,” said Cheng Xiaohe, a North Korea expert at Renmin University in Beijing. “I'm afraid of what we are facing now, we are at the stage of a showdown.”

Xi does not want a showdown. The National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which starts on October 18th, will be a key moment in his presidency. It is a chance for him to prove he has consolidated power and has a plan for the years ahead. The meeting is years, not months, in the making; very little is left to chance.

In the run-up to the conclave, state media has been praising Xi in overdrive, running a six-part series on Xi's “remarkable diplomatic achievements” and calling on cadres to study and implement his “diplomatic thought.” A nuclear bomb near the border and presidential put-downs are way off-script.

“With the congress coming up, this is the last thing China wants,” said Adam Cathcart, a lecturer at Britain's University of Leeds. “You've got a bomb coming and banging on his podium.”

Though Sunday's test will lead to louder U.S. calls for a crackdown on Kim, China is unlikely to listen, Cathcart said. “This is the last moment they would be executing a pivot toward an American vision about what to do with North Korea.”

There was a time that China and North Korea were Communist brothers-at-arms — but that time is long gone. China, like the United States and the rest of the world, is both frustrated with and frightened by Kim.

Ordinary Chinese have no love for the leader they call “fatty Kim the third.” Beijing does not like the young dictator testing missiles close to the border, especially when those tests feel like taunts.

 In May, Pyongyang launched a missile hours before Xi was set to give a major speech on one of his signature bits of foreign policy, the infrastructure bonanza known as “One Belt, One Road”. Sunday's test came hours before Xi was set to address a summit attended by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in southern China.

“We all knew that President Xi was to make a speech at the BRIC's summit today and North Korea chose this time to conduct testing, especially H-bomb testing,” said Renmin's Cheng. The timing, he said, is “inconceivable.”

But China sees limited options, experts said. While some in the United States would be happy to see Kim fall, China has no interest in instability on the Korean peninsula. China sees any change to the status quo as a potential opening for the United States to increase its military presence in Asia.

China has responded to months of North Korean tests by proposing a “double suspension” plan that would see the United States and South Korea suspend joint military exercises and North Korea suspend weapons testing. Beyond that plan, which is unlikely to proceed, Beijing has backed U.N.-led sanctions and called for a return to talks.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Sunday issued a statement saying it “resolutely opposed” and “strongly condemned” the test. The statement called on the international community to come together to implement U.N. resolutions and nudged North Korea to come back to the table — familiar stuff.

The question now is whether China will do more than support another round of U.N. sanctions. China is North Korea's largest supplier of crude oil; some have called for China to suspend supply.

That is still possible, but the Chinese side has yet to put it on the table and early signals suggest they won't.

In an article published shortly after the nuclear test, the Global Times, a party-controlled newspaper known for its nationalistic tone, predicted that China would not change course.

In a video interview, the paper's outspoken editor, Hu Xijin, said he was angry but could not support tougher sanctions. “I want to tell the citizens of the world, most Chinese feel the same way you do: We are angry about North Korea's nuclear test,” he said.

But, he argued, a total embargo was not the way forward. Cutting off Kim would not stop nuclear testing, but could turn the dictator against Beijing.

“Therefore despite my own anger, I advocate that Beijing put China's national interests first, and not readily agree to a total embargo including oil.”


Shirley Feng and Yang Liu reported from Beijing.

• Emily Rauhala is a China Correspondent for The Washington Post. She was previously a Beijing-based correspondent for TIME, and an editor at the magazine's Hong Kong office.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the-timing-of-north-koreas-nuke-test-could-not-be-worse-for-chinas-xi/2017/09/04/f9d0677a-90bb-11e7-b9bc-b2f7903bab0d_story.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

Social Buttons

Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29144


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 10:32:14 pm »


Why would China, the world's rising superpower, listen to a clown who is the President of the USA, the world's waning superpower?

Especially when China is always going to put China first when dealing with America.

The last thing China wants is North Korea collapsing, because that would mean millions of North Korean refugees storming the border.

And it could potentially mean American troops on the other side of the border.

So the Chinese president will continue to smile politely while Trump rants & raves, but will then ignore Trump's tantrums and do what is best for China.
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
aDjUsToR
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 865


« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 10:41:58 pm »

Yep I guess China doesn't like a US Prez who promised not to roll America over for more shaftings by China.
Report Spam   Logged
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29144


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 11:08:44 pm »


America is a has-been former superpower.

But they are waning now and China is on the rise.

I guess the Americans find it hard to accept.

BTW....there's a specific word in the English language for the situation where a waning major power suddenly realises they are no longer the top dog they thought they were.

Can you guess what that word is?

I'll leave you to ponder it for a few days, then I'll reveal what that word is if you haven't managed to work it out by then.
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Donald
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 898



« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 05:02:43 am »

Ktj......"North Korea has become a “great threat and embarrassment to China.”

....yes....now let's see if China has bigger balls than a kiwirail labourer😳
Report Spam   Logged
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29144


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 03:40:57 pm »


from The Washington Post....

The real reason China won't turn against North Korea

China's foreign policy is dictated by its domestic policy. And domestic policy is all about the party.

By JOHN POMFRET | 2:15PM EDT - Friday, September 08, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un examines nuclear weaponry believed to be the country's first thermonuclear warhead in early September. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agencey/Korea News Service/Associated Press.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un examines nuclear weaponry believed to be the country's first thermonuclear warhead in early September.
 — Photograph: Korean Central News Agencey/Korea News Service/Associated Press.


OF all the question marks surrounding the emerging crisis in North Korea, China seems to be the biggest. Why don't the Chinese do more? Doesn't China realize it would enhance its global prestige if it dealt with the issue once and for all?

In fact, outsourcing the North Korean imbroglio to China has been the central U.S. policy almost since the problem began, embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike. And experts have come forward with no shortage of justifications for China's failure to squeeze the regime of Kim Jong Un. Most of them miss the mark.

For a while, a popular theory was that if China pressured North Korea, the regime could collapse, causing refugees to flow into China. But this ignores the massive amount of international aid that would also flow into China should this problem occur.

Experts also argue that China just doesn't have the influence it used to over North Korea. North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung, had a difficult relationship with Chairman Mao Zedong; his son, Kim Jong Il, ignored entreaties from China to embrace market-oriented reform. The current leader, Kim Jong Un, has ordered the execution of numerous officials believed to have been close to China, including his uncle and half brother. But, again, these arguments dodge the fact that 90 percent of North Korea's trade — and almost all of its oil — passes through China, and that for decades China has done its best to water down U.N. sanctions on North Korea, ensuring that its economy stays afloat and, as a result, that its missile and nuclear weapons programs stay alive.

Lately, there seems to be more optimism that China's policymakers realize that continuing their support of North Korea hurts Beijing's interests. Look, we're told, South Korea has deployed the American THAAD missile defense system and is going to be able to buy American missiles with a larger payload. In addition, there are now calls in Japan to reconsider the country's ban on the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons on its soil. And many Chinese are fed up with North Korean belligerence, as well.

The Financial Times recently reported that Chinese academics have been given more freedom to criticize North Korea than in the past. Henry Kissinger, the longtime go-between for China and the United States, has also declared he believes that the views of China's leader, Xi Jinping, are evolving on the issue and that it's only a question of time before the rest of China's bureaucracy catches up.

But I think it's wise to remain skeptical, and here's why: More than any other major continental power, China's foreign policy serves its domestic policy. And China's domestic policy, as the scholar Steve Tsang has noted, is laser focused on strengthening the rule of the Chinese Communist Party.

As far back as the 1950s, China used its involvement in the Korean War as an excuse to launch political campaigns to rid its cities of pro-American sentiment. As senior party official Zhou Enlai wrote as the war ground to an end, “The movement to fight America and support Korea has had huge results. Without such an enemy, we would not have been able to mobilize such strength.” Flash forward to 2003, when China, at the behest of the United States, set up the six-party talks to try to deal with North Korea after it withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This move, too, had a key domestic component: to show China's people how important China — and thus the Chinese Communist Party — had become. The idea, according to exiled Chinese writer Chang Ping, was not actually to solve the problem, but to maintain a situation in which as China “secretly aids the kidnappers, as middleman, it also helps negotiate the ransom.”

Why does China continue to aid “the kidnappers”? For one, despite the increased criticism of North Korea permitted in the state-run press, a significant faction within the Communist Party continues to believe that China's support of North Korea chips away at American strength and prestige. Undermining the United States within China and around Asia remains a central goal of the party, which sees itself as embattled by what it calls “hostile Western forces” — in other words, the United States.

Second and possibly even more important, Chinese Communist officials have to be concerned about the ramifications inside China of a more aggressive stance on North Korea. If Beijing steps in and installs a more malleable leader to replace Kim, who is to say North Koreans would not revolt and turn their country into an Iraq or, perhaps even worse, a democracy?

Party officials worry that a revolution in or the collapse of North Korea could set in play forces inside China that would shake the party's rule. Here think of 1989 in Hungary, Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe and what the upheaval there stirred in the Soviet Union. In China, the USSR's collapse is the most studied event in recent history, and Mikhail Gorbachev, who is cast as a hero in the West, is a goat in Beijing.

A senior American official told me recently that he's the most optimistic he has been that China's policy on North Korea is changing. I think he should, as President Ronald Reagan once advised, trust but verify.


• John Pomfret, a former Washington Post bureau chief in Beijing, is the author of The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2017/09/08/the-real-reason-china-wont-turn-against-north-korea
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Donald
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 898



« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 04:29:12 pm »

The communist dictatorship does not want the west on its border...they are scared of democracy...and losing power🙄
Report Spam   Logged
Donald
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 898



« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2017, 08:49:26 am »


Ktj....."America is a has-been former superpower."

...mm...may be getting a bit ahead of yourself there sonny🙄

What would happen if North Korea fires a missile at the US

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said recently it would be "game on" if North Korea were to fire a missile at the United States or its allies, but how fast things would happen is not so clear.

A leading expert in missile defense told Fox News there would not be much time to decide to shoot down a North Korean missile.

“This is a game of minutes, but the initial detection of a launch would be really in terms of seconds,” said Thomas Karako, senior fellow and director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Keep in mind the entire flight time from North Korea to the United States is well under any hour [and] the authority is given in advance. It's predesignated,” he added.

There are reports that President Trump has already authorized his national security team to act if a North Korean missile is headed toward Guam, Hawaii or the U.S. homeland.



When any missile is launched around the world, it produces a plume and heat signature that is quickly picked up by U.S. military spy satellites. Almost immediately the information is transferred to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, better known as NORAD, as well as the U.S. Strategic Command, which controls the military’s nuclear forces.

Karako says both NORAD and U.S. Strategic Command quickly assess where the missile is going and decide whether it is a threat to the United States, its allies or any U.S. military forces in the region. 

U.S. missile defense has come a long way since its inception 13 years ago. By the end of this year, 44 ground-based interceptor missiles will be housed in silos between two U.S. Air Force bases in Alaska and California.

The last two tests of the ground based interceptors have been successful despite a spotty track record previously.

“I'm very confident…that this system can and will defend the homeland if attacked,” said the former head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Vice Adm. James D. Syring.

But even this new technology needs improving. Today’s “kill vehicle” from the interceptor missiles dates back to the 1990s, according to Karako.

To protect South Korea and the U.S. territory of Guam, the U.S. military has deployed the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system.

Right now THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) is only operated by the United States military, but there are only a few systems available to deploy.

“The United States has only about five or six [THAAD] batteries for the world,” said Karako.   

The United Arab Emirates has two THAAD batteries and the Saudis have announced they will be purchasing seven batteries, Karako said.

THAAD is a perfect 15 for 15 over its lifetime in controlled tests to destroy short or medium range ballistic missiles, including two recent tests from Kodiak, Alaska which shot down ballistic missiles over the Pacific.

THAAD missiles intercept ballistic missiles when they re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

But Karako says the THAAD battery currently deployed to South Korea is only “finite.”

THAAD will not protect the 25 million people living in and around Seoul, but it will buy the military time to strike back, according to Karako.

“North Korea has hundreds of missiles, the THAAD battery is not there to defend the entire peninsula,” said Karako. “This is not about having a perfect shield and sitting there and playing catch.”

This week, the U.S. Army added four more launchers - over the objections of Russia and China - to join the two already in place bringing the total now to 48 missiles to defend South Korea.

Japan does not have the THAAD system. 

Sitting off shore are Aegis destroyers that are designed to shoot down ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere in space.

Protecting Japan are Patriot missile batteries to provide a last ditch protection should any missiles get through the Aegis warships deployed at sea.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was put to sea this morning from Tokyo Bay for preplanned training exercises at sea, according to the U.S. Navy.

Separately, a ballistic missile defense warship will always be on alert near Japan. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will join the president and the rest of the cabinet along with their families at Camp David this weekend.

And on Friday, a US Navy official confirmed that four warships had joined the USS Ronald Reagan at sea for a "routine patrol," just a month after the aircraft carrier's month-long maintenance period in Japan. The official says that two of the four warships are ballistic missile defense ships capable of shooting down North Korean missiles.

The four warships carry more than 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles among them.

Ahead of a meeting with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah at the Pentagon Thursday, Defense Secretary Mattis was asked by a reporter what would happen if North Korea fired a missile at the United States or threatened any allies this weekend.

"We'll deal with it," he replied.
Fox
Report Spam   Logged
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29144


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2017, 11:01:20 am »


What would happen if North Korea fired an ICBM with a nuclear warhead at the USA?

I would imagine the USA would retaliate and turn North Korea into a pile of smoking, radioactive ashes.

But that would be only the beginning of it.

The radioactive cloud would drift across Japan dumping piles of radioactive debris all over that country and killing millions of Japanese.

The Chinese would immediately use their PROVEN satellite-destroying technology to wipe out all of the American satellites used by the American military.

So instantly, there would be no more GPS anywhere in the world.

And the US military would be fucked without their military satellites, because they use those today for everything from secure communications, to guiding weapons, guiding ships and aircraft, controlling drones, etc. So the result would be this huge and powerful US military completely disabled by having no satellites.

And a really pissed-off Japan, and no doubt South Korea and the rest of Asia who would also be covered in a radioactive cloud.

And probably a really pissed-off rest of the world too!

Does that answer your question?
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Donald
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 898



« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2017, 02:46:51 pm »

..no...those are merely a list of assumptions from an intellectually challenged rail labourer from a small insignificant country...don't see any answers...just typical leftie fake news😉
Report Spam   Logged
aDjUsToR
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 865


« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2017, 02:51:55 pm »

Looks like KTJ has been reading leftie conspiracy theory sites 😁
Report Spam   Logged
aDjUsToR
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 865


« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2017, 02:56:59 pm »

Unlike the dumocrats, Trump admin will be unlikely to announce any strike plans. If nk does strike out in a very dumb way, it will probably be severely crippled, fairly quickly, and in a strategic way. Let's hope none this happens.
Report Spam   Logged
Donald
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 898



« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2017, 03:37:21 pm »

...yup.. and if the Us needs to bring NK to its knees..they may as well change the regime at the same time....make sure it doesn't happen again😉

.....that's what China don't want😳

...it's like a group of countries playing chicken😒.....but the west correctly is pointing out that this scenario cannot be permitted to deteriorate even further.....increasing the damage when the unthinkable occurs...and it is not it when🙄🙄

...at least down here we can die a slow death😉
Report Spam   Logged
aDjUsToR
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 865


« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2017, 10:27:03 pm »

I guess it's vaguely possible that a massive alliance has agreed to stop the NK plans in its tracks, given the danger that a NK with nukes poses.
Report Spam   Logged
Donald
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 898



« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2017, 05:10:19 pm »

..yes..but China and Russia.....usually have a preference for being anti west and pro socialist dictatorship...they don't like democracy and freedom.....they like control and more control😜
Report Spam   Logged
aDjUsToR
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 865


« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2017, 07:07:27 pm »

Certainly looks that way.
Report Spam   Logged
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29144


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2017, 07:55:40 pm »


Yep....as posted earlier, China will do whatever is in the best interest of China (China first), not what the idiot Donald J. Trump wants.



from The Washington Post....

Trump said China was caught ‘red handed’ selling oil to North Korea.
Beijing denies it did anything wrong.


The U.S. president seems increasingly frustrated with his North Korea plan.

By EMILY RAUHALA | 7:28AM EST — Friday, December 29, 2017

The Lighthouse Winmore, a Hong Kong-flagged ship, is seen in waters off Yeosu, South Korea. South Korean authorities boarded the tanker and interviewed its crew members for allegedly violating U.N. sanctions by transferring oil to a North Korean vessel in October, an official said on Friday. — Photograph: Hyung Min-woo/Yonhap/Associated Press.
The Lighthouse Winmore, a Hong Kong-flagged ship, is seen in waters off Yeosu, South Korea. South Korean authorities boarded the tanker and interviewed
its crew members for allegedly violating U.N. sanctions by transferring oil to a North Korean vessel in October, an official said on Friday.
 — Photograph: Hyung Min-woo/Yonhap/Associated Press.


HONG KONG — Did a Chinese ship deliver oil to North Korea in defiance of the U.N. Security Council? President Trump and South Korea seem to think so. China does not.

Hours after Trump accused China on Thursday of being caught “red handed” selling oil to the North Koreans — in apparent violation of sanctions adopted by the United Nations in September — South Korea released information that appeared to support his claim.

South Korean authorities said Friday that on November 24th they seized and inspected a Hong Kong-flagged vessel that on October 19th transferred 600 tons of refined petroleum to a North Korean vessel.

But at a daily news briefing in Beijing, a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry flatly dismissed the claim, saying media accounts “did not accord with the facts.”

“China has always implemented U.N. Security Council resolutions pertaining to North Korea in their entirety and fulfills its international obligations,” said the spokeswoman, Hua Chunying.

“We never allow Chinese companies and citizens to violate the resolutions,” she said.


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying gestures during a news briefing in Beijing. — Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying gestures during a news briefing in Beijing.
 — Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press.


The standoff underscores Trump's frustration at his attempts to press China to tighten economic pressures on North Korea as part of global efforts to curb the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

China is the economic lifeline for the regime of Kim Jong Un, and Beijing is under close international scrutiny for gaps in the sanctions.

China also appears angry at being unceremoniously called out by Trump — a rift that could shape the year ahead.

Since Trump took office, the United States and China have backed successive rounds of U.N. sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea's weapons program. But Kim has continued to conduct tests, including of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Trump has responded by periodically — and often very publicly — urging China to do more. On Thursday he tweeted: “Caught RED HANDED — very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”

He then posted a clip of himself talking about North Korea's nuclear program in a television interview that aired 18 years ago.

Trump's ire will not go down well with Beijing, which feels unfairly singled out by foreign critics, including Trump.

On Wednesday, when Hua, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, was asked about South Korean claims of a ship-to-ship oil transfer, she turned the tables by claiming news organizations did not have their facts straight.

The People's Daily, a Communist Party-controlled newspaper, followed up with a detailed account of her response, noting that she “hit back at the speculation with eight questions to drive home the point that the conclusion is based on speculation and not facts.”

The headline: “China tells foreign media to stop it with the wild speculation”.


Shirley Feng contributed from Beijing.

• Emily Rauhala is China correspondent for The Washington Post. She was previously a Beijing-based correspondent for TIME, and an editor at the magazine's Hong Kong office. In 2017, she shared an Overseas Press Club award for a series about the Internet in China.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Trump fires opening shot in China trade battle

 • U.S. imposes sanctions on two key figures in North Korea's weapons program

 • Retired military leaders urge Trump to choose words, not action, to deal with North Korea


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/trump-said-china-was-caught-red-handed-selling-oil-to-north-korea-beijing-denies-it-did-anything-wrong/2017/12/29/89bc3a22-ec73-11e7-891f-e7a3c60a93de_story.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29144


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2018, 02:45:46 pm »


from The New York Times....

Trump Rebuked China for North Korea's Oil Smuggling.
It's More Complicated.


The opaque world of the global maritime industry makes it exceedingly
difficult to prevent North Korea from obtaining oil, despite sanctions.


By CHRIS HORTON, STEVEN LEE MYERS and MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ | Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Lighthouse Winmore, a Hong Kong-flagged vessel suspected of transferring oil to North Korea in defiance of international sanctions, near Yeosu, South Korea, in late December. — Photograph: Yonhap/Reuters.
The Lighthouse Winmore, a Hong Kong-flagged vessel suspected of transferring oil to North Korea in defiance of international sanctions,
near Yeosu, South Korea, in late December. — Photograph: Yonhap/Reuters.


KOAHSIUNG, TAIWAN — The two ships met in daylight in the middle of the East China Sea. One was an 11,253-ton oil tanker, the Lighthouse Winmore, supposedly heading to Taiwan. The other, an aging freighter, was emblazoned with the red, white and blue flag of North Korea.

In an illicit high-seas exchange captured in photographs taken by an American spy plane, the Lighthouse Winmore offloaded what officials later said was 600 tons of oil to the North Korean vessel in violation of United Nations sanctions.

With those sanctions constricting its trade, including the import of refined petroleum, North Korea has increasingly turned to illegal clandestine shipments to acquire the fuel it needs, according to diplomatic officials and documents obtained by The New York Times.

Trafficking on the high seas has become what these officials regard as a pernicious subversion of the sanctions. Though the frequency of smuggling is difficult to estimate, they fear it is undermining efforts to thwart the nuclear weapons ambitions of Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, through economic pressure. The trafficking has also strained relations between the United States and North Korea's two largest trading partners, China and Russia.

Last month, the United States tried to persuade other members of the United Nations Security Council to blacklist 10 ships that it said were involved in smuggling oil and coal. In addition to the Lighthouse Winmore, this list, obtained by The New York Times, included four North Korean-flagged vessels, as well as ships linked to South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

A United Nations diplomat said the transfers were happening frequently in the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and possibly the Sea of Japan.

The diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence materials, said that detecting the smuggling was difficult and that preventing it would require interdiction of suspect ships at sea, which could further inflame tensions with North Korea.

Determining who abets the North Koreans has proved difficult. China and Russia have been blamed for the smuggling, or at least for failing to counter it, though evidence of direct government involvement is slim.

A day before South Korea announced late last month that it had impounded the Lighthouse Winmore in November, President Trump seemed to directly implicate China in the smuggling, writing on Twitter that it had been “caught RED HANDED” allowing illicit oil deliveries to North Korea.

Tracing the Winmore's ownership and its contraband oil underscores the difficulty of identifying who is complicit, despite what the president's jab suggested.

Most of the Lighthouse Winmore's 25 crewmen were Chinese, but other connections to China were more tenuous. Some links were to places where the United States may be just as influential.

The ship's flag showed that it was from Hong Kong, which for the last two decades has been a semi-autonomous special administrative region of China. The oil originated with a multinational commodities trader, Trafigura Group, and was sold first to a company in Hong Kong, then to a company in Taiwan, the island that China regards as a breakaway province and that maintains close but unofficial relations with the United States.

The ship's owner appears to be a Hong Kong-based company whose director lives in Guangzhou, China. But the ship was leased by a fishing magnate from Taiwan, Chen Shih-hsien, whose company, Billions Bunker Group, was until last month registered in the Marshall Islands, a Pacific Ocean nation that enjoys American military protection.

The difficulty has been compounded by the opacity of the international shipping industry, where vessels can be flagged in faraway countries and ownership is often obscured to limit legal liability.


Covering Their Tracks

The North Koreans, too, have become experts at covering their tracks to evade sanctions. Identification numbers are forged; vessels are registered under “flags of convenience” to mask their North Korean origins; names and even paint jobs are changed frequently.

The latest sanctions report to the United Nations Security Council in September warned that “lax enforcement of the sanctions regime coupled with the country's evolving evasion techniques are undermining the goals of the resolutions” intended to halt North Korea's nuclear and missile development.

South Korea's November seizure of the Lighthouse Winmore was made public only in late December — after Mr. Trump's post on Twitter. Two days later, South Korea disclosed the impounding of another ship, the Koti, flagged in Panama and operated by Harmonized Resources Shipping Management Company in Hong Kong.

According to Hong Kong corporate records, the company's owner is an individual named Ma Guixian, and its headquarters is in China's port of Dalian, across the bay from North Korea. The phone at the company has since been disconnected.

After the seizures were publicized, the Chinese government bristled at suggestions that it had been somehow involved.

“Instead of fixing their eyes on Chinese shipping, they had better ask their government whether it has fully and comprehensively implemented the relevant Security Council resolutions,” a foreign affairs spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, told journalists. Can any country, she added, “be 100 percent sure that what should be done is done and not a single breach will happen?”


In a seemingly illicit high-seas exchange captured in photographs taken by an American spy plane, the Lighthouse Winmore offloaded what officials later said was 600 tons of oil to a North Korean vessel. — Picture: United States Government.
In a seemingly illicit high-seas exchange captured in photographs taken by an American spy plane, the
Lighthouse Winmore offloaded what officials later said was 600 tons of oil to a North Korean vessel.
 — Picture: United States Government.


China has enforced sanctions against North Korea by cutting imports of coal, seafood and a variety of other products. Mr. Trump, as recently as this month, praised the Chinese government for “sharply reducing its trade with North Korea,” saying in an official White House statement that “this action supports the United States-led global effort.”

As Ms. Hua's remarks made clear, though, China has not ruled out that some illicit traffic has continued.

Stopping ship-to-ship smuggling on the open seas is complicated. The suspect area is vast and hard to patrol. Finding smugglers among the hundreds of ships carrying out oil transfers at sea is almost impossible. Such ship-to-ship transfers are legal if the recipient is not North Korea.

Any effort to blockade North Korean ports or inspect North Korean-bound ships suspected of carrying illicit oil could be considered acts of war by Mr. Kim and could lead to further escalation.

Determining how much illicit petroleum is reaching North Korea is also difficult, experts said. Before 2017, North Korea imported about 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum a year, mostly from Russia and China. A United Nations resolution adopted last month imposed a cap of 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum a year. (North Korea is also permitted annual imports of four million barrels of unrefined oil, much of which comes from China via pipeline.)

Western officials say it is unlikely that North Korea could smuggle in enough refined oil to make up the difference.

The activities of entrepreneurs like Mr. Chen are providing a lifeline, though. So far, officials have not said definitively whether Mr. Chen was a small-time smuggler or a major figure in the illicit oil trade. He was quoted by several news organizations as saying that he was not aware that the transferred oil had been bound for North Korea. He could not be reached for comment.

Born in 1965, he followed his family into the commercial fishing industry, becoming a prominent figure in the tuna trade as a member of the Taiwan Tuna Association, based in the southern port city Kaohsiung.

Records show that Mr. Chen also owned two ships, known as bunker vessels, used for refueling at sea. These vessels, which are like floating gas stations, are an integral part of the international shipping system, particularly in the fishing industry, allowing ships to stay at sea longer. The Lighthouse Winmore, which he leased, was also a bunker vessel.


Billions Bunker Group

Mr. Chen registered a new company in the Marshall Islands, the Billions Bunker Group, in 2014. The Marshall Islands is one of only 20 countries with official diplomatic ties with Taiwan. According to the corporate registry there, the company was annulled on December 29th, the day South Korea made public its seizure of the Lighthouse Winmore.

Billions Bunker separately registered a company called Taiwan Group Corporation in the British Virgin Islands, creating a complex network of holdings, including others that were disclosed in the Panama Papers leaks that revealed hidden wealth in offshore tax havens.


The Friendship Bridge, which connects the North Korean town of Sinuiju with the Chinese city of Dandong, is used to transport goods between the two countries. — Photograph: Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times.
The Friendship Bridge, which connects the North Korean town of Sinuiju with the Chinese city of Dandong,
is used to transport goods between the two countries. — Photograph: Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times.


Prosecutors in South Korea said the Lighthouse Winmore's manifest falsely indicated that it had been headed to Taiwan when it departed the South Korean port of Yeosu on October 11th. Eight days later, an American naval intelligence aircraft photographed it seemingly transferring oil to the Sam Jong 2, according to documents presented to the United Nations Security Council and seen by The Times.

The documents also included photographs of the two ships owned by Mr. Chen's company: the Billions 18 and the Billions 88. While officials say that the Billions 18 was involved in smuggling, evidence is insufficient to say the same about the Billions 88.

The authorities in Taiwan arrested Mr. Chen on January 3rd, their investigation seemingly prompted by the South Korean seizure. He was released on bail for the equivalent of about $50,000, according to a statement by the district prosecutor's office in Kaohsiung, which said that he faced charges of falsifying export documents.

No one answered the door at Mr. Chen's home in Tainan, a city just north of Kaohsiung.

The Kaohsiung offices of two of Mr. Chen's businesses, Yingjen Fishery Company and Kao Yang Fishery Company, were shuttered. A neighboring shopkeeper said they had been frequented until late December.

People who know Mr. Chen expressed shock that he may have been smuggling to North Korea. At the headquarters of the Taiwan Tuna Association, an employee, Simon Lee, described him as thoughtful and polite — not typical traits in the fishing business.

“I thought to myself, ‘How could it be him?’” Mr. Lee said.

Since the South Koreans took action, the names of the two ships Mr. Chen owned have been changed, a common industry practice that makes tracking ownership more difficult. The Billions 18 became the Kingsway, still under the flag of Panama, while the Billions 88 became the Twins Bull, flagged in Palau, according to Marine Traffic, a website that tracks shipping.

On January 12th, Taiwan's Ministry of Justice announced sanctions on Mr. Chen, freezing his assets and forbidding others to do business with him.

Smuggling tied to North Korea will remain difficult to eradicate, officials and experts said.

As North Korea faces tighter restrictions on trade, those willing to evade the sanctions can command even higher premiums. That is why the United States and others have sought to press China and Russia to police sanctions more vigorously. Officials say they have shown little inclination.


Photos and Evidence

In December, when American diplomats presented Russia and China with the list of 10 ships it claimed had been involved in smuggling, they also provided photos and evidence from the ships' electronic monitoring systems. Included in the evidence were maps showing the routes of three ships that apparently had illegally delivered North Korean coal to ports in Russia and Vietnam. Most of the others, including two vessels connected to Mr. Chen, were involved in illicit ship-to-ship oil transfers.

The Chinese agreed to blacklist four. The Billions 18 was included; the Lighthouse Winmore was not.

“Russia and China have never been fully committed to North Korean sanctions,” one Security Council diplomat said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the topic is so contentious. “They are trying to do whatever it takes to get away with it rather than a full implementation.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Chris Horton reported from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Steven Lee Myers from Beijing and Michael Schwirtz from the United Nations. Olivia Mitchell Ryan contributed research from Beijing, and Susan C. Beachy from New York.

• Chris Horton is a freelance journalist based in Taipei, Taiwan. He has been writing about Asia for more than a decade, covering topics including news, politics, business, travel, the environment, sports and the arts. Chris' writing has been published in magazines, newspapers and websites in Asia, the US and UK, most recently in The New York Times, Quartz, Financial Times, The Atlantic, ChinaFile and FORTUNE China.

• Steven Lee Myers is a veteran diplomatic and national security correspondent, now based in the Beijing bureau. He joined The New York Times in 1989, and has previously worked as a correspondent in Moscow, Baghdad and Washington, where he covered the State Department, the Pentagon and the White House. He is the author of The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2015.

• Michael Schwirtz is a reporter with The New York Times. Since 2014 he has been a member of the metro desk's investigative team, reporting about brutality and corruption in the New York State prison system and at Rikers Island in New York City. He has covered the New York City Police Department for the metro desk, and from 2006 to 2012 he was a correspondent with The Times Moscow bureau.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • As North and South Korea Begin to Talk, Trump Watches From Sidelines

 • South Korea Seizes Ship Suspected of Sending Oil to North Korea

 • Security Council Tightens Economic Vise on North Korea, Blocking Fuel, Ships and Workers

 • Why Relying on China to Stop North Korea May Not Work


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/world/asia/north-korea-oil-smuggling.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29144


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2018, 12:55:07 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

China quietly builds bridges to North Korea

An embargo on trade may be breaking down.

By DON LEE | Saturday, August 04, 2018

The Friendship Bridge in Dandong connecting China and North Korea has reportedly seen an increase in trucks, and a decrease in customs inspections. — Photograph: Helene Franchineau/Associated Press.
The Friendship Bridge in Dandong connecting China and North Korea has reportedly seen an increase in trucks, and a decrease in customs inspections.
 — Photograph: Helene Franchineau/Associated Press.


DANGDONG, CHINA — It was drizzling rain, and gloomy clouds darkened the surface of the Yalu River separating this Chinese city from its North Korean neighbor.

In a nearby commercial district named after an old Korean kingdom, a group of men distinguishable only by their high cropped haircuts and the pins in their lapels depicting Kim Jong Un's father and grandfather were acting out a tiny drama with broader implications for President Trump's foreign policy and the future security of the United States.

The men, and a handful of women accompanying them, slipped in and out of storefronts to buy cosmetics and other personal items to take back home. More important, they paid inconspicuous visits to the offices of trading firms that account for part of the vital flow of goods between China and North Korea.

The presence of these visitors was a small but telling sign that China's critical role in the punishing international embargo on trade with Pyongyang — an embargo the Trump administration is counting on to force North Korea to stop building nuclear weapons — seems to be breaking down.

After his dramatic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June, Trump declared on Twitter, “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

Administration officials were quick to say the actual elimination of that threat would be the subject of negotiations now underway.

And, they said, the trade embargo that China has played a pivotal role in enforcing would ease only after North Korea had taken significant steps to stop developing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

The visits by North Korean trade officials in Dandong, along with a boomlet in Chinese tourists to Pyongyang and elsewhere in North Korea, are far from the only signs that Beijing is not waiting.

Instead, it has quietly begun loosening the screws on its long-time ally.

U.S. satellite images and Japanese naval photos have captured suspected illicit ship-to-ship transfers of oil. And experts say North Korean workers are returning to jobs inside China, some under the guise of educational exchanges. Thousands of North Korean laborers also have entered Russia since the U.N. ban against new work permits last September, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Those workers send home hard-cash wages that, combined with large slush funds likely from prior years of coal sales and clandestine trading networks built up across China and southeast Asia, allow Pyongyang to pursue its nuclear ambitions while keeping its political elite happy with fine liquor, designer watches and the latest electronics normally unobtainable at home.

Some of these transactions, such as procuring luxury goods, are clear violations of United Nations resolutions aimed at choking back Pyongyang's nuclear programs.

Other activities fall into grayer areas. For instance, there were reports that Beijing recently decided to spend about $88 million for road construction around a new but as-yet-unused bridge linking the key trading center of Dandong with North Korea's Ryongchon County.




Clear-cut or ambiguous, however, all these activities present a vexing problem for the United States as the Trump administration looks to Kim to follow through on his vaguely worded summit pledge to denuclearize.

Tightening of international sanctions, powerfully boosted by tougher enforcement by China, North Korea's indispensable economic patron, was thought to have played a major role in bringing Kim to the bargaining table with Trump.

Trump hailed the historic June 12 summit in Singapore as a major success.

Since then, U.S. talks with North Korea and progress toward the “complete denuclearization” that Kim committed to have been slow.

Even as Kim seemingly made good on his pledge to return the remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, evidence has grown that North Korea is proceeding with its nuclear and missile programs. Recent indications include construction activity at a missile facility in Sanum-dong in the Pyongyang area and a nuclear-enrichment site at Yongbyon.

At the same time, North Korea has stuck by its word to stop conducting nuclear and missile tests.

Trump has made much of the cessation of tests, but in the eyes of analysts, Beijing believes it now has a kind of green light to rebuild its relations with Pyongyang, easing enforcement of sanctions and resuming business activities that help the North Korean regime hold onto power.

Moreover, Washington's escalating trade war with China has opened up options for North Korea.

In the absence of U.S.-China coordination, Kim has “two separate lines of negotiations, one with Beijing and one with Washington, [which] makes the denuclearization much more difficult in terms of getting the type and pace of movement that Washington wants,” said John Park, a North Korea specialist at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

“The bar is very low,” he said. “In practice, what we're seeing is that North Korea just has to abide by a moratorium on nuclear and ballistic missile testing, and you would essentially see the ability to move forward on an easing of implementation of sanctions from China.”

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo has accused North Korea of violating various sanctions imposed by the U.N., and last month sought to have the U.N. Security Council ban oil transfers to North Korea. The effort was blocked by China and Russia.

“When sanctions are not enforced the prospects for the successful denuclearization of North Korea are diminished,” he said.

Trump tweeted last month that China might be undercutting U.S. efforts at denuclearizing North Korea, but China's foreign ministry has insisted that Beijing is acting responsibly.

Chinese analysts say Beijing remains legally bound to the U.N. restrictions. “The improvement in trade is limited,” said Yi Baozhong, a Northeast Asia expert at Jilin University in Liaoning province, which borders North Korea and where many ethnic Koreans live.

Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center's nuclear policy program in Beijing, notes that China's previous imposition of economic sanctions on North Korea may have gone beyond the international requirements.

“As long as North Korea continues to make progress on the issue of nuclear abandonment, China should hope to help North Korea carry out economic development and national transformation,” he said. “North Korea hopes to continue to win over China using the strategic competition between China and the United States, and to obtain the greatest economic benefits from China.”

In 2009, China and North Korea, then led by Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, agreed to work together on economic development, tourism and education.

But party-to-party relations were strained thanks to Kim Jong Un's nuclear tests and capricious acts of violence. Beijing pulled back on trade and other programs that had propped up the isolated North Korean economy.

The North's exports to China, once dominated by coal, skidded in the second half of last year to practically nothing, and China's official customs data show there's been no rebound through June. But Chinese exports into North Korea have risen steadily in recent months, doubling from early in the year to about $200 million in June.

“We're running up against a clock on how long we can maintain as much pressure as possible,” said Troy Stangarone, senior director at the Korea Economic Institute, a non-profit think tank.

Most of the China-North Korea trade has been seen as moving through Dandong, across the city's Friendship Bridge. Reports from NK Pro, a publication specializing in North Korea, and other sources indicate that more truck crossings are taking place and that there’s been a relaxing of customs inspections.

“If authorities are increasingly lax in their monitoring of trade flows across the border, they may well be turning more of a blind eye to smuggling and other trade that goes under the radar as well,” said Benjamin Silberstein, an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, writing in NK Pro.

Here in Dandong, owners of trading firms and brokers say commercial activity with the North, while up some, remains low given the dramatic hit from the sanctions in prior months. But even if the floodgates are not entirely open now, the current developments are troubling signs for the future.

This is true even though most people in China still look down on North Korea as a backward, communist little brother. Not that that doesn't hold fascination for many Chinese.

On the same gray July week that the North Korean officials were moving in and out of those trading offices, a group of Chinese tourists jammed onto a 30-foot boat that set out for a cruise along the Yalu River.

Suddenly, one of the tourists spotted a lone North Korean figure pedaling along the the opposite shore on a bicycle.

“Look,” the Chinese tourist shouted to his friends as he pointed to the cyclist: “Express Delivery.”

The crowd burst out laughing.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Don Lee covers the U.S. and global economy out of Washington, D.C. Since joining the Los Angeles Times in 1992, he has served as the Shanghai bureau chief and in various editing and reporting roles in California. He is a native of Seoul, Korea, and graduated from the University of Chicago.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=593217bd-16bb-4e63-9ce0-034622e67908
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=1510beb3-3552-4b89-97ef-9e17df16f27f



from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

U.S. aims to counter China

Amid trade tensions, Pompeo urges region's countries to maintain sanctions on North Korea.

By TRACY WILKINSON | Saturday, August 04, 2018

SINGAPORE — With a modest investment package and contradictory messages, the Trump administration is attempting to counter China's powerful influence in Southeast Asia while also urging the region’s countries to keep up pressure on nuclear-armed North Korea.

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo arrived in Singapore on Friday as part of a three-nation trip that will include meetings with officials of roughly two dozen governments. The meetings are part of a foreign ministers' summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its “partners,” including the United States, China, Australia and Iran.

Pompeo's trip is part of Washington's attempt to reshape and expand its footprint in Asia. The Trump administration has tried to relabel the Asia-Pacific region as the Indo-Pacific in an effort to incorporate India into the region's diplomacy as a counterbalance to China.

Also on the sidelines of the minister-level summit, Pompeo met his Turkish counterpart on Friday to press again for the release of an American Protestant minister detained there for nearly two years. The State Department characterized Pompeo's talks with Mevlut Cavusoglu as “constructive.”

Earlier this week, the Trump administration hit Turkey with economic sanctions to demand the release of the preacher, Andrew Brunson, and other U.S. citizens swept up in a massive crackdown on dissidents.

Speaking to reporters traveling with him to Singapore, Pompeo said the Turkish government was “on notice” that the “clock had run” and that it was time for Brunson to go home.

“I hope they'll see this for what it is: a demonstration that we're very serious,” Pompeo said. “Brunson needs to come home. As do all the Americans being held by the Turkish government. Pretty straightforward. They've been holding these folks for a long time. These are innocent people.”

The main theme here, however, is the giant potential of the region's economic power. Ahead of his trip, Pompeo said the United States had a stake in the peace and prosperity of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”

But Pompeo's efforts have been overshadowed by President Trump's escalating trade war with China. Far from an open market, several countries in the region say, it seems the United States has become more protectionist.

Pompeo said this week that the United States is prepared to offer about $130 million in investment projects involving the U.S. private sector, and he criticized China's investment programs that often saddle countries with unexpected debt.

Still, the U.S. aid package pales in comparison to China's massive “Belt and Road” initiative, which is planning hundreds of billions of dollars worth of projects across Asia, Europe and Latin America.

In his Singapore meetings, Pompeo will also urge Asian countries to keep up pressure on North Korea by continuing to enforce tough economic sanctions. The sanctions were imposed on Pyongyang by the United Nations and are aimed at discouraging its nuclear activities.

Pompeo maintains that the sanction regime is largely intact, but several of the region's governments have begun to relax the measures, which targeted North Korea's imports and exports as a means to strangle the government of Kim Jong Un economically and cause diplomatic and political isolation.

China, Pyongyang's chief ally, has been accused by U.S. officials of reneging on sanctions and allowing some trade to resume.

The efforts to pressure North Korea come as the United States continues to try to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim on a program to “denuclearize” the Korean peninsula. Many officials in Washington remain skeptical about Kim's intentions, despite Trump's apparent willingness to believe and praise the ruthless dictator.

“We too remain concerned about the scale of North Korea’s illicit pro-curement, in particular of refined petroleum products via U.N.-prohibited ship-to-ship transfers,” a senior State Department official said. Ship-to-ship transfers often involve Chinese vessels.

The official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity in keeping with State Department rules, said a key goal of the meetings was to remind countries of the success a global coalition confronting North Korea has had in encouraging Pyongyang to come to the negotiating table.

“On North Korea, these are more than ‘asks’. It's a reminder of their obligations,” the official told reporters aboard Pompeo's flight to his first stop, Kuala Lumpur. “We do have concerns that North Korea is not meeting its obligations.”

For all Pompeo's intentions, the administration's message conflicts with many of the region's needs and concerns. U.S. diplomats also often diverge from Trump positions.

The one meeting that Pompeo will lead involves countries from the Lower Mekong River region, including Laos and Vietnam, which have experienced deadly flooding and other environmental disasters.

Administration officials emphasized their interest in promoting work with the countries to collect what they called water data. But many of these countries blame the disasters on climate change, a problem that many in the Trump administration dismiss.

The official would not say whether Pompeo was prepared to discuss climate change. Pressed, the official finally said that the issue of climate change “comes up from time to time.”

Similarly, Pompeo and his staff have been emphasizing the multilateral approach that the United States enjoys with ASEAN and similar organizations in the region. Yet Trump has evinced disdain for group efforts, preferring one-on-one bilateral agreements. One of his first acts, for example, was to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership accord, which would have united numerous Pacific Rim countries and the United States in trade deals as a counter to China.

The region is still reeling from that decision and feeling less confident in the U.S. partnership, diplomats say.

The official who briefed reporters insisted multilateralism was still alive and well.

“The United States is very much about multilateralism,” the official said. “That's how we work with these countries.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Tracy Wilkinson has covered wars, crises and daily life on three continents. Her career began with United Press International, where she covered the Contra war in Nicaragua. She moved to the Los Angeles Times in 1987, first as a writer on the Metro staff, then as a foreign correspondent based in San Salvador. In 1995, she moved to Vienna, where she covered the war in the Balkans, winning the George Polk Award in 1999, and then to Jerusalem. From there, she went to Rome, where she covered two popes and did several stints in Iraq. In 2008, she became Mexico bureau chief, where her coverage was part of a team Overseas Press Club Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Wilkinson was also the 2014 winner of the Maria Moors Cabot Award for coverage of Latin America. She earned her bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University. Her book “TheVatican's Exorcists: Driving Out the Devil in the 21st Century” has been translated into a dozen languages. She joined the L.A. Times' Washington, D.C., bureau in 2015 to cover foreign affairs.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=d492a596-83d4-4260-a730-c625a17a3681
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Open XNC2 Smileys
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum

Buy traffic for your forum/website
traffic-masters
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy
Page created in 0.156 seconds with 14 queries.