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Further North Korea Nuclear Testing May Goad China Into Oil Embargo

Kim Jong Un

Chinese diplomatic analysts believe further nuclear tests by North Korea could push Beijing over the edge, prompting an oil embargo that would deal a devastating blow to Pyongyang’s stability.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Fox News that he had been informed that “China would be taking sanctions actions on their own,” should Pyongyang conduct another nuclear test.

“Crude oil is very likely to be included as part of new U.N. sanctions if North Korea continues with its provocative nuclear tests, and China will almost certainly endorse such an effort,” Sun Xingjie, an expert on North Korea from Jilin University said on the matter.

International sanctions against North Korea have been in place for the past several years, with the most recent United Nations-backed round targeting the country’s shipping network. A Chinese oil embargo would likely debilitate Kin Jong-un’s government.

“Instead of an oil embargo of just one or two months, which is unlikely to have a major impact on North Korea’s strategic oil reserves, we are talking about a halt in Chinese crude oil supplies for at least six months. That would be a real nightmare for Kim,” said Sun.

The expert said Beijing would likely require a mandate from the U.N. to take new actions against Pyongyang absent further nuclear activity.

Related: Russia Hits 100% Compliance With OPEC Cut

Gasoline prices in North Korea jumped by as much as 83 percent this week on the back of reports that China is mulling over crude sanctions for the unruly neighbor.

While China has historically supported—above all—the stability of the Pyongyang regime as a means of avoiding a refugee crisis should the political system there collapse, now it is putting equal weight on regime stability and the denuclearization of that same regime.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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  • Bill Simpson on April 28 2017 said:
    It will be a good example for the rest of the world, to witness what life without oil is like. It won't be pretty.
    I doubt he will blow any more nukes if the Chinese told him that they will cut off his oil if he does. But let's hope he does, so the Chinese get rid of him. Cutting off all his oil will do it.
  • jack ma on April 28 2017 said:
    The oil embargo on Japan lead to the Pearl Harbor attack. Same thing will happen here so expect a few million South Korean refugees to the USA. Trump is being baited. The dark nation is a trap for the enemy to be slaughtered. Dark for 70 years and the North Koreans are moles.

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