Home GRASP GRASP/China China likely to tighten screws on North Korea to ease tensions

China likely to tighten screws on North Korea to ease tensions

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China will likely assert greater pressure on North Korea to curb its nuclear and missile development programmes in order to prevent tension from escalating on the Korean peninsula, analysts say..
China will likely assert greater pressure on North Korea to curb its nuclear and missile development programmes in order to prevent tension from escalating on the Korean peninsula, analysts say.
However, Beijing is unlikely to take the drastic measure of cutting oil and other energy supplies to Pyongyang because this is a last resort that it will not use lightly.
“China will go a step further to put pressure on North Korea, ” said security analyst Wang Xiangsui from Beihang University, on how Beijing would react to the latest missile test by North Korea.
Pyongyang on Tuesday launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that some analysts said could reach as far as Alaska, if reports of its range of roughly 6,700km are correct.
One key reason for China’s likely move, said Professor Wang, is that it does not wish to see tension in the region escalate further.
Another is that North Korea has violated the United Nations Security Council resolutions against its nuclear and missile programmes. As China had supported these resolutions, it needs to take a position as a permanent member of the Security Council and as its current president, he said.
Prof Wang would not say what measures China might take against the North but noted that Beijing offers aid to its close ally, including oil.
However, security analyst Li Mingjiang from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Relations did not think that China would go as far as to cut oil and energy supplies to North Korea right now.
“Doing that will be a last resort as it will create a lot more damage to China’s relationship with North Korea than all the existing pressures and sanctions that it is employing against the North, ” said Associate Professor Li.

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