China is understood to be reinforcing its defenses along its border with North Korea should President Trump order military action to deal with Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. Mr. Trump warned Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier on this month that the U.S. would not hesitate to act alone to solve the NK issue if necessary.
According to military experts, Beijing has ordered the creation of a new border unit and has beefed up surveillance of its frontier with the rogue state. Bunkers have also been built in the event of a nuclear blast.
The Trump administration is clearly examining its options to deal with the threat posed by Kim Jong-un after the president pointed out that “the era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime ha[d] failed” last month. Mr. Trump is well aware that Washington cannot rely on Beijing to put pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear ambitions. Despite Chinese government officials’ promises that Beijing was doing all it could to influence the rogue regime and that its “important efforts” were clearly “visible to all,” reality suggests otherwise.
China did announce in February that it was freezing all imports of coal from North Korea, a move which could deprive the crackpot regime of an estimated $1 billion in revenue each year. However, experts promptly pointed out that Beijing could easily continue its coal imports on the sly if these were kept off the books and off official statistics.
Earlier on this year, Beijing was also caught supplying Sinotruk vehicles to North Korea in spite of current sanctions prohibiting the sale of military equipment to Pyongyang.
Beijing is concerned that putting too much pressure on its neighbor could result in the premature collapse of Kim Jong-un’s regime which would lead to a flood of North Koreans streaming into China. Beijing is also aware that the gap created by the regime’s collapse would pave the way toward the establishment of a US-supported United Korea on its border.
Does this mean that a war with North Korea is imminent? It does depend on Kim Jong-un.
Next time the dictator decides to conduct another test, President Trump will probably go further than firing missiles into the territorial waters of South Korea this time round. Surgical strikes could be an option but these would have to be coordinated to hit all nuclear facilities at the same time to eliminate the possibility of a counterstrike by North Korea.
In the meantime, the Trump administration is likely to take additional sanctions to target Chinese banks and institutions which continue to deal with North Korea even though a recent poll showed that the majority of American voters favored military action against the rogue regime.
Last month, Washington barred American companies from doing business with Bank of Dandong after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused the institution of aiding Pyongyang’s various military programs.Share