The turbulent relationship between the Trump administration and China might be about to take another surprising turn, as Reuters quotes diplomats who say a deal for stronger sanctions against North Korea may have been quietly struck.
“We have been working very hard for some time and we certainly hope that this is going to be a consensus resolution,” China’s U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi said encouragingly on Thursday, referring to a draft resolution for stronger U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang that will be presented to all 15 members of the Security Council.
The latest word is that the United States hopes for Security Council vote on the new sanctions Saturday. The general consensus from U.N. watchers is that China must have indicated it would support the sanctions in order for the draft resolution to get this far.
“It was not immediately clear if poor relations between Russia and the United States, which imposed new unilateral sanctions on Moscow on Wednesday, would hamper the negotiations,” Reuters adds on a down note, pointing out that Russia has not yet officially recognized North Korea’s last two missile launches as multi-stage intercontinental ballistic missiles.
According to Canada’s Globe and Mail, the draft resolution would slash North Korea’s $3 billion export market by a third, banning exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood. It would also “prohibit countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean laborers working abroad, ban new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures.”
The diplomat who sourced this report said both China and Russia are prepared to support the resolution.