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The United States and China will jointly monitor the implementation of sanctions on North Korea, Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reported, citing U.S. officials. The monitoring system will seek to make sure China is in fact taking part in the sanctions and that the U.S. and China military commands have direct communication.
The two will share intelligence they gather on the North Korea missile plans as well as discuss various scenarios including a military intervention and the consequent refugee situation, as well as the possibility of the North Korean regime’s collapsing.
According to the sources, the agreement was reached before the latest push for more sanctions against the rogue state, in early November. China’s participation in any sanctions against Pyongyang is vital as it is the country’s biggest supplier of oil and food.
Chinese customs data for November revealed it had stopped exporting oil products to North Korea and it imported no coal, iron ore, and lead from the country.
Oil supplies have been the focus of U.S. sanction efforts, but China has been wary of cutting off North Korea’s oil. After the latest missile test by North Korea at the end of last month, the U.S. intensified its pressure on Beijing. Last week, AFP quoted UN officials as saying the U.S. and China were working on a joint draft resolution concerning oil product supplies to North Korea, which should cripple its missile program.
Meanwhile, last week the Telegraph reported there was talk in Washington about a “bloody nose”-style military attack against North Korea. Citing unnamed sources, the daily said there was a dramatic step-up in preparations for a military response to North Korea’s missile tests.
Among the options that are being considered, sources say, is destroying a missile launch site before a launch or destroying weapon stockpiles. “The Pentagon is trying to find options that would allow them to punch the North Koreans in the nose, get their attention and show that we’re serious," one of the Telegraph’s sources, a former security official, said.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.