China is expected to send a high-level official to Pyongyang today for the North Korean Worker’s Party’s celebration of its
China is expected to send a high-level official to Pyongyang today for the North Korean Worker’s Party’s celebration of its founding.
The visit comes as North Korea advanced relations with the United States in recent months. A second summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump is now being negotiated, and inspections of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site are being trumpeted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
China is officially maintaining UN sanctions on Pyongyang despite Washington accusing it and Russia of skirting around them—a charge that China has not directly denied. Both Beijing and Moscow have been pressing the US in recent months to lift sanctions on North Korea to progress denuclearisation talks.
The real test will come if the unpredictable hermit kingdom stalls progress on denuclearisation in the future. China is North Korea’s largest trade partner and is missing out on major export revenues across the border. Should talks stall again, expect Beijing, in conjunction with Moscow, to seriously consider circumventing sanctions.
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