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Chinese art of sanctioning NK

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By Lee Seong-hyon

As of today, there is no definitive answer as to whether sanctions on Pyongyang are working or not. There is a widely polarized view on it, like day and night. This is a delicate and hotly debated topic among South Korean scholars.

Oddly, President Donald Trump, who claims to enjoy a good relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, keeps sanctions on North Korea. This would indicate that Washington is a believer in sanctions as a key motivating factor behind North Korea's nuclear moves.

Over 90 percent of North Korea's trade is with China. That means Beijing is the key. China is the most formidable influencer in the game of sanctions. This is one narrative many Chinese scholars are often shy of publicly owning, because acknowledging it would entail the responsibility for implementing sanctions. But they tend to recognize it in private. Some are even smug about the fact that China wields such gargantuan clout over the North.

Russia also is a significant player in the sanctions game. As reported in various media, there are tens of thousands of North Korean workers in Russia's Far........

© The Korea Times