State Department Issues Warning Over North Korea And China

( The United States Department of State announced on Tuesday that China is no longer enforcing United Nations sanctions against North Korea, the communist dictatorship led by Kim Jong Un. The news suggests that China has chosen to ignore evidence of North Korean money launderers and weapons program suppliers engaging in covert tactics in their country.

Alex Wong, the State Department Deputy Envoy for North Korean Affairs, said during a speech in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday that China was expected to have expelled the representatives many years ago under United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“But it hasn’t done that,” Wong said. “And it’s not because the Chinese government is unaware of them. The United States has provided China with ample actionable information on the ongoing U.N.-prohibited activities occurring within its borders. But Beijing has chosen not to act.”

It’s yet another example of China’s willingness to break the rules and behave in a way that damages diplomatic relations with Western countries.

Who could have seen this coming…

Wong said that the weapons trade connected to North Korea was “perhaps the most brazen of Beijing’s failures.”

“The United States and our partners have greatly narrowed the space for the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] to import illicit weapons-related components,” Wong added. “But the DPRK still retains shadowy avenues to procure inputs to its weapons programs.”

Wong also described how North Korea, notably isolationist, couldn’t do this “without middlemen.”

“It cannot do that without illicit bank accounts. It cannot do that without a network of money launderers,” he said. “The overwhelming number of those middlemen, bank accounts, and money launderers operate within the borders of China.”

The keynote speech also revealed how at least two dozen North Korean weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile procurement representatives are knowingly being hosted by the Chinese Communist Party.

Wong called on Chinese authorities to “step up their implementation and enforcement against Chinese companies, people, and vessels that use its coastal waters and ports to conduct illicit trade in all UN- prohibited commodities,” but also said that China appears to have its own agenda.

Having spoken to Chinese diplomats, Wong said that he understood the course of action China is taking. He revealed how China is looking to revive old trade links, likely in the wake of the West’s growing distrust of the nation, and revenue transfers to the north.

“And they are seeking this all without the North Koreans engaging in serious and substantive negotiations, without an agreed road map, and without the DPRK as of yet taking any concrete steps toward denuclearization,” he added.

With the prospects of a possible Joe Biden administration next year, the hard work done by the Trump administration preparing North Korea for denuclearization risks being undone.

Wong confirmed that the United States will continue to impose sanctions on individuals or entities preparing sanctions evasions, including entities within China’s jurisdiction. But who knows if that will continue under a Biden administration?