China and North Korea have reached “a near-total breakdown of high-level diplomacy” just as the White House is demanding that Beijing apply more pressure to rein in its onetime close ally, Reuters reported on Friday.
Since Kim Jong-Un’s 2013 execution of his uncle Jang Song Thaek, who was Pyongyang’s chief liaison with Beijing, relations have turned for the worse, Reuters said. Some diplomats and experts think Kim may begin to see China as an enemy, according to the report.
“There has never existed a subordinate relationship between the two sides,” Jin Canrong, an international relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing, told the news agency. “Never. Especially after the end of the Cold War, the North Koreans fell into a difficult situation and could not get enough help from China, so they determined to help themselves.”
A series of floods and droughts in North Korea was partially responsible for a famine that killed hundreds of thousands between 1994-98, with the loss of Soviet support exacerbating the situation, and forcing the government to incorporate certain elements of market economics.
Pyongyang’s rapidly escalating missile and nuclear tests have led to increasing strained relations with Beijing. China in August halted iron, iron ore, and seafood imports from North Korea in accordance with United Nations sanctions.
This week China signaled it would support the United Nations taking further measures against North Korea following the test.
“Given the new developments on the Korean peninsula, China agrees that the UN Security Council should respond further by taking necessary measures,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a press conference in Beijing.
A draft US-authored resolution submitted to the UN Security Council would go far beyond seven previous rounds of sanctions — and would rock Kim’s isolated authoritarian regime.
The draft demands not only an oil embargo and a freeze on any assets Kim holds abroad, but also a ban on textile exports and an end to payments made to North Korean guest workers.
US President Donald Trump meanwhile warned last month that the United States was considering cutting economic ties with any countries that do business with North Korea.
Trump’s threat came after Pyongyang detonated what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb able to fit atop a missile.
While the United States has virtually no trade with the North, the burden of sanctions as described by Trump and Mnuchin would fall heavily on China, which is Pyongyang’s sole major ally and buys about 90 percent of North Korean exports.
AFP contributed to this report.
Source : https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/asia-pacific/155000-170908-near-total-breakdown-in-china-north-korea-relations-says-report