It’s not a sonic boom or bunker buster Pyongyang should most fear from the Trump administration. It’s the sound of cash registers falling silent, and doors to the outside world shutting, as the U.S. works to convince China and other allies to cut off the oil, access to money and perhaps even communication links to the outside world.
China took in a surge of coal supplies in December 2016, but then declared a moratorium on imports for 2017, said Yun Sun, a fellow with the East Asia program at the Stimson Center. China still took delivery of some coal supplies in the first two months of this year, though China didn’t go above what was allowed by a November U.N. resolution toughening sanctions on the regime, she noted at the Korean-focused website 38 North. It did allow several North Korean ships laden with coal to dock for “humanitarian reasons,” she said, but there was no satellite or other evidence she has seen that the coal was unloaded, and as of March, it appears all coal deliveries to China have stopped.
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