Chinese expert: North Korea will not give up its nuclear program because of sanctions


December 25, 2017 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos

SHANGHAI, China – Executive Director of the Institute of International Relations and Director of the Center for Korea Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Liu Ming told TASS on Monday that North Korea will not abandon its nuclear weapons program because of sanctions.

“As for whether the increasing pressure is effective or not, in the near future it is pointless,” he said. “North Korea has achieved a rather high safety margin. Undoubtedly, as sanctions grow, particularly those aimed at putting an end to normal trade and economic relations between China and North Korea, as well as to oil supplies, Pyongyang will face difficulties. Under this situation, North Korea will opt for strengthening its relations with Russia in the hope of getting help from Moscow, particularly in the field of energy supply,” the Chinese expert said, adding that “if Russia will also take certain measures to exert pressure, then North Korea is bound to be confronted with great problems.”

“The United States has been studying North Korea’s response in order to understand if it will be ready to make compromises in the face of increasing sanctions. If Pyongyang comes back to the negotiating table, Washington will be satisfied. If that does not happen, then Washington will consider other options, particularly the military one, including the deployment of nuclear weapons to South Korea. Taking the current situation into account, it will take time for the sanctions to make effect,” the expert pointed out.

“In this case, China and Russia should act differently from the United States and South Korea to maintain their channel for communication with North Korea. If China and Russia behave like the United States and increase sanctions, then the communication channel will be there no more. China is unlikely to do that,” the expert said, noting that the situation with Russia was similar.

“In the near future sanctions will not prove very effective, but in the long run, they may slow the development of North Korea’s nuclear program due to the lack of funds, technical issues and reducing energy supply. However, it will take one to two years. As far as the full abandonment of nuclear program under the pressure of sanctions, it is very unlikely to happen,” the Chinese expert concluded.

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