What could have brought North Korea to an apparent 180-degree twist on its willingness to negotiate with United States? One of possible reasons is effect of international sanctions. China, Pyongyang's main enforcer and hoarding 90% of North Korean trade, has used more rigour than ever in its fulfillment in recent months, something that has not ceased to create an impact in one of world's most isolated countries.
According to official Chinese customs figures, imports of North Korean products fell by one-third throughout 2017. In December alone, decline in trade was 82% compared to same month of previous year. That month did not matter lead, coal, or iron from North Korea, nor did it export oil products except a small amount of aircraft fuel. This January, 52% compared to January 2017, to be reduced to 215,970,000 dollars.
In border area in norastern China have already closed numerous Korean-owned companies, including restaurants. North Korean workers are gradually returning to ir country as ir work visa expires, which are no longer renewed.
There are exceptions and enforcement of sanctions is porous. Japan has reported that since January it has detected four possible cases of exchange of goods on offshore ships. Smuggling in through Tumen and Yalu, rivers that mark border between North Korea and China, is not much less extinguished. But analysts agree that economic pressure on North Korea is now stronger than in a long time.
That pressure increaseded notably from September, when UN Security Council imposed its eighth and toughest round of sanctions after North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test, largest in its history. These sanctions prohibited sale to Kim Jong-un's regime of natural gas and limited that of oil. They also impeded purchase of North Korean textiles- second largest source of exports to Korea-and prevented countries from accepting new South Korean workers, beyond 93,000 that regime has already sent abroad as manpower Cheap and y are one of great sources of foreign exchange for North Korea.
A month earlier, UN had already approved ban on Korean exports of shellfish, coal- main source of Korean currencies, and which has China as its main market-and lead.
This same February, United States imposed new unilateral sanctions, which punish companies in several countries-including China-and ships that do business with North Korea.
The sanctions against North Korea began in 2006, when Kim Jong-il, far of current Supreme leader Kim Jong-un, gave approval to first nuclear test of this country. Security Council resolution 1,718 n banned exports of military supplies and luxury goods. This rule also requires freezing of North Korean financial assets.
Resolution 1,874, adopted after second Korean nuclear test in 2009, increases arms embargo and calls on UN member countries to inspect ships suspected of carrying banned cargo to North Korea and destroy it, in event Find. This provision was enlarged in 2013, after Kim Jong-Un's regime put a satellite in orbit.
After third nuclear test, UN imposed sanctions on transfers of funds related to North Korea. After fourth, it banned exports of gold, vanadium, titanium and rare metals. There was an initial ban on trade with coal and iron, although only those amounts that were not considered necessary for survival of country.
In November 2016, provisions against export of coal were hardened and trade with copper, nickel, silver and zinc was banned.
The European Union also maintains its own arms embargo or sale of aircraft fuel, among or measures. South Korea banned commercial exchange with its neighbor in 2010, following collapse of its Cheoson military vessel, and completed that veto in 2016 after fourth Korean nuclear test. Japan, anor of next countries, prevents sending of remittances over 100,000 yen or presence of North Korean ships in its waters.