North Korea’s Oil Supply May be Cut, Under Call from US, Japan, and South Korea
The United States, Japan, and South Korea are going to call for an international embargo, which will block oil exports to North Korea, according to an Aug. 30 report from Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei Asian Review.
Doing this, it notes, will “strike at the lifeblood of Pyongyang’s weapons programs.”
There has been no news of the oil embargo moving forward, but it was allegedly on the table during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Aug. 30, held one day after North Korean communist dictator Kim Jong Un fired a rocket over Japan.
Following the meeting, the council called the North Korean ballistic missile test “outrageous,” according to the Chicago Tribune, and called on North Korea to take “immediate, concrete actions” to reduce tensions.
Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia and Chinese Ambassador Liu Jiey carried the common line of their counties on North Korea to avoid any actions that may increase tensions.
After the meeting Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho said “We’ll be talking about next steps starting now.”
President Donald Trump held a 40-minute phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Aug. 29 regarding the North Korean missile launch. Abe released a statement the same day, saying Japan would immediately analyze the information, and “we will take all possible measures to fully protect the lives of the Japanese people.”
Trump responded on Twitter, stating, “The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!”
The Obama administration had provided $1 million to North Korea on Jan. 19, one day before Trump took office, according to Voice of America. And according to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, between 1996 and 2008, the United States had provided more than $1 billion in assistance to North Korea.
If the United States and its allies were to cut oil shipments to North Korea, it would add to a growing list of embargoes and sanctions that Trump has negotiated following renewed threats and hostile actions from Kim.
Even China, a long-time supporter of the North Korea, has begun ending its defense and support for Kim’s communist regime. It also approved sanctions against North Korea at the United Nations, and says it will comply with the sanctions by restricting imports from North Korea of coal, iron, iron ore, and other items.
The United States, Japan, and South Korea are also holding military shows of force in the region.
Japan and South Korea sent jets to accompany two nuclear-capable supersonic U.S. B-1B bombers near the Korean peninsula on Aug. 31, which was also accompanied by four U.S. F-35B jets—which are among the top planes in the U.S. Air Force.
The U.S. Navy is also in the process of establishing a live-fire training range complex on the Andersen Air Force Base (AAFB) in Guam, which will be used by the U.S. Marines.