Kevin Gray

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Why China's coal ban isn't likely to stop North Korea's weapons

China's announcement that it will suspend the import of North Korean coal until the end of 2017 appears to be a significant expression of Beijing's continued frustration with the Pyongyang regime.

On the one hand, the decision can be viewed as a delayed commitment to enforce existing UN sanctions against North Korea, to which China, as permanent member of the Security Council, played a key role in passing.

Following years of vaguely worded resolutions that allowed for flexible interpretation by China, UN Security Council Resolution 2321 passed last November, which included an explicit target of reducing coal imports by 62%.

Several more immediate factors may, however, explain the timing of China's announcement.…  Seguir leyendo »