August 24, 2017

SQUEEZE: Trump Puts A New Sanctions Squeeze On China and Russia.

The U.S. sanctions list on North Korea just grew a little longer, as the Treasury Department turns up the heat on Pyongyang’s enablers in China and Russia. . . .

The new sanctions on Chinese firms are sure to irk Beijing, since China has so far enforced this month’s new UN sanctions more strictly than usual. But the new penalties serve as a reminder that Beijing is still not truly cooperative in complying with sanctions—and as a warning that the Trump administration will crack down on any companies that continue to exploit loopholes. . . .

If nothing else, the new sanctions show that the Trump administration is serious about exposing and closing the tortuous financial paths exploited by China and Russia to prop up Pyongyang. Holding both countries’ feet to the fire in order to isolate North Korea is a certainly a worthy cause. Whether these moves will actually change the stubborn behavior of the regime in Pyongyang, alas, is far from certain.

North Korea has been a way for China to put the hurt on the US and pretend it isn’t behind it. Trump’s puncturing that pretense.

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