Posted October. 26, 2017 07:37,
Updated October. 26, 2017 08:11
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act” on Tuesday (local time), which aims to cut off North Korea's links to all foreign corporations and financial system. The U.S. Congress passed the bill in honor of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died after being held by North Korea for 17 months. Unlike the U.N. Security Council's resolutions imposed against North Korea, which limit the subjects for punishment to certain items such as nuclear or missile parts and luxury goods, the Otto Warmbier bill is regarded as “secondary boycott” as it blocks anyone that makes transaction with North Korea from gaining access to U.S.' financial system.
The “Solution for Iran,” which Washington discouraged Tehran from developing nuclear weapons by imposing sanctions from June 2010, is also being applied to North Korea. North Korea has halted its nuclear missile provocations for 40 days since it launched the Hwasong-12 intermediate-ballistic missile (IRBM) on Sept. 15. Although the North said, "Our preemptive attack shall be carried out randomly, inflicting unfathomable shock," it is not clear whether it will put its words into action. This proves that the strategic asset deployment, such as U.S. B-1B bombers, and armed forces of the aircraft carrier training team on the East Sea, are affecting North Korea. There is a need to tighten the tension when oppression is working. The effect of military oppression and economic sanctions can be doubled if it is reinforced simultaneously.
The problem lies within China. North Korea was able to tolerate sanctions up until now because China, which covers more than 90 percent of the North's trade, has taken a lukewarm stance. As North Korea's provocations surged this year, launching nuclear missiles every two weeks, the U.N. Security Council has toughened its sanctions against North Korea. Yet, China's export towards the North increased by more than 20.9 percent year-on-year as of September. It has been confirmed that a considerable amount of missile parts and vehicles to transfer missiles were made in China. In other words, China has only pretended to be part of the North Korea sanctions. The U.S.’ new sanction bill is to stop China from taking a tepid position. When considering China's national interest, a change in China's attitude toward North Korea sanctions is no longer a “choice” but a “must.”
During his report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that he would make China the world's greatest country. China's dream of “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people” also implies China's dream of powerful military, which seeks to overtake the U.S.’ military power by 2049. However, a genuinely strong country does not use its prominent national power to pursue its own interest but acts in a responsible manner to achieve the common goal of humanity. Denuclearization of North Korea is a challenge that the entire world is facing.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who will be touring Asia from Nov. 5, is likely to urge Mr. Xi, who has newly been endorsed a second term in office, to fully implement the UN Security Council's sanctions against the North. In order to solve the North Korea problem through dialogues and negotiation, avoiding military options that is strongly opposed by China, exerting endless oppression and sanctions are indispensable. It is now time for China to act like a great country on issues concerning North Korea sanctions as well.