China, suddenly aware that their client state North Korea is out of control, has warned the North Korean regime that if it conducts its imminent nuclear test China will hit the regime with further sanctions.
The New York Times reports that China has already complied with United Nations sanctions, reducing its purchase of North Korean coal; Chinese imports of coal dropped 51.6 percent in the first three months of 2017 compared with the first quarter of last year, according to Huang Songping, a spokesman for the Chinese customs agency. The Chinese money paid to North Korea for its coal, roughly one billion dollars annually, has helped fund North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
On Wednesday, Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper, said that if North Korea ran its nuclear test, China would restrict selling oil to the North Korean regime. The paper opined, “If the North makes another provocative move this month, the Chinese society will be willing to see the United Nations Security Council adopt severe restrictive measures that have never been seen before, such as restricting oil exports to the North.”
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, told reporters in Beijing that China was calling on “all the parties, no matter verbally or in action, to stop provoking and threatening each other and not to allow the situation to become irretrievable and out of control.”