Will Trump Choke China Banks?

Ri Yong-ho left and Wang Yi

Trump officials maintain a list of Chinese banks and other firms which the USA would be prepared to levy sanctions against, due to alleged ties to North Korean weaponry programs.

In July, North Korea conducted two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles in violation of previous UN Security Council resolutions. The second test in particular raised fear that Pyongyang could be on the cusp of developing missiles capable of reaching the United States mainland.

The sanctions will aim to reduce North Korea's export revenues by a third.

"The North Korean regime is going to have to make a choice", Anthony Ruggiero, an expert in North Korean sanctions, tells CBS News.

Within the framework of the resolution, the United Nations members would not be available to open joint ventures or cooperative entities with North Korean entities or individuals, as well as not to increase the number of North Korean workers already engaged in the projects on the territories of the member states.

"But in order to protect the global non-proliferation system and regional peace and stability, China will as before fully and strictly properly implement the entire contents of the relevant resolution", said Mr Wang.

On Saturday, in a unanimous vote, the Council passed a resolution hitting North Korea with fresh sanctions. Wang and Ri Yong-ho held dialogue for about one hour, diplomatic sources here said. She said, "I don't see a military solution and I don't think it's called for".

North Korea's foreign minister said Monday that its nuclear arms were aimed only at the US, not the rest of the world, and accused America of being the "origin of crisis".

A similar stance was also emphasized in an earlier statement made via the North Korean regime's official KCNA news agency, in which the North threatened to take "righteous action" and make the United States "pay the price for its crime... thousands of times" for drafting the sanctions.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, who has launched a slew of sweary tirades against the U.S. in recent months, appeared to take a more conciliatory approach when he greeted secretary of state Rex Tillerson, saying he was a "humble friend" of America. USA sanctions signed by President Donald Trump a few days earlier also target North Korea's human rights abuses and enforce United Nations shipping sanctions against North Korea.

Trump to call for China trade investigation
Lighthizer will recommend whether an official investigation into trade practices is warranted. That finding reportedly came from a confidential US intelligence assessment.

Kazianis said China fears that too much pressure could collapse Kim's regime, sending millions of refugees into China and igniting a civil war where nuclear and chemical weapons could lead to catastrophe.

China's tourism authority has not published a breakdown of the total number of Chinese visitors to North Korea since 2012, when it said 237,000 made the trip. China opposes Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and was uncharacteristically forthright in saying so this week.

The ICBM is believed to be a step forward in the North's nuclear program. He said in Manila on Sunday that Pyongyang should "not do anything unbeneficial towards the worldwide community such as a nuclear test". In the city of Marawi in the country's south, Philippine forces are fighting militants who claim to be affiliated with the Islamic State.

In its first major response on Monday, North Korea insisted that it would continue to develop its controversial nuclear weapons programme. The picture above from 2013 shows leader Kim Jong Un ordering strategic rocket forces to be on standby to strike US and South Korean targets at any time.

Joint discussions between six nations - China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Russia and the US - collapsed in 2009. The new sanctions won't end that - or address the Chinese companies and banks that continue to do business with North Korea.

The test added pressure to an already tense situation with isolated North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. "So of course we have to provide all options to do that, and that includes a military option".

There is no pro-China way of spinning this: The Chinese, seen in some circles as an unstoppable behemoth, proved to be a paper tiger on the issue of the North Korea in the face of the tough stance shown by Trump and his administration.

"After the implementation of the resolutions, the Korean Peninsula issue enters into a critical juncture", he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Concerns were heightened late last month when tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile indicated Pyongyang may be within a year or two of obtaining the technology to reach the USA with nuclear missiles.

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