China And The U.S. Are Cooling Their Cooperation To Curb North Korea

Give the world’s two superpowers credit for effort but don’t expect a whole lot more. Since the presidents of China and the United States met for their first time in April, they’ve spoken the language of cooperation to hobble North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs spearheaded by the enigmatic leader Kim Jong-un. To appease China, which doesnt want the Kim regime to collapse and leave a power vacuum on its border, a senior U.S. admiral had said the United States wants to bring North Korea not to its “knees,” just its “senses.” China reportedly planned to cut the flow of petroleum to North Korea in a sanction-like gesture likely to win favor with Washington.But Trump shows signs of wanting more out of his cooperation with China, especially now as everyone’s asking whether 22-year-old American student Otto Warmbier was intentionally hurt in North Korea before his release — and death a week later. North Korea had detained him for a year on suspicion of stealing a propaganda poster. “(Trump) commented personally…that he continues to be very troubled by what happened to Otto Warmbier and would like to see China do more,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a briefing Friday.And Trump isnt likely to get a lot more. China never quite bought into the cooperation thing. Its state-run media (here, for example) continue to question what Trump is after. China wants to be seen balancing North Korea against an angry world but generally resents direct pressure against aid such as stopping fuel supplies. “While Chinese analysts recognize the dangers posed by North Korea, they have long seen Chinese influence as limited and believe that U.S. hostility toward North Korea is the root cause of (Korean) peninsular tensions,” Forbes contributor Scott Snyder writes.


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