There will no doubt be additional domestic and international calls for more sanctions against North Korea, but, in reality, the iron lung that keeps North Korea going might be beyond sanctions.
North Korea’s expatriate community in Japan and China continues to travel back and forth delivering gifts, money and information. Many of these expatriates operate import and export businesses in China near the North’s border. These businesses help supply the North with a wide range of hard-to-find equipment and supplies.
One U.S. analyst on North Korea who visited the area from the Chinese side said trucks travel back and forth 24 hours a day without hindrance from China. Though China has recently expressed tougher language on curtailing North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing antics, it is still unclear if Beijing will take any real action.
To focus too much on China would be unfair. There are even export companies operating in Taiwan that facilitate the export of equipment to North Korea, including the Royal Team Corporation.
On Thursday February 14 the China Weekly Hangout will hold its first session in the Year of the black water snake. You are invited to join our exchange on our expectations for the coming year, exchange (belated) New Years wishes to just have a rest run to see how easy hangouts can be used. You can register here.
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