N. Korean busi­nesses in China or­dered closed

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD MARYLAND - By Joe McDon­ald

BEIJING — China on Thurs­day or­dered North Korean-owned busi­nesses to close, cut­ting for­eign rev­enue for the iso­lated North un­der U.N. sanc­tions im­posed over its nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams.

China is North Korea’s main trad­ing part­ner, mak­ing Beijing’s co­op­er­a­tion es­sen­tial to the suc­cess of sanc­tions aimed at stop­ping the North’s pur­suit of weapons t ech­nol­ogy. China, long North Korea’s diplo­matic pro­tec­tor, has gone along with the lat­est penal­ties out of grow­ing frus­tra­tion with leader Kim Jong Un’s govern­ment.

North Korean busi­nesses and ven­tures with Chi­nese part­ners must close within 120 days of the U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil’s Sept. 11 ap­proval of the lat­est sanc­tions, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Com­merce. That would be early Jan­uary.

North Korean com­pa­nies op­er­ate restau­rants and other ven­tures in China, help­ing to pro­vide the North with for­eign cur­rency. North Korean la­bor­ers work in Chi­nese facto- ries and other busi­nesses.

Also Thurs­day, China’s For­eign Min­istry ap­pealed for di­a­logue to defuse the in­creas­ingly ac­ri­mo­nious dis­pute be­tween Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s govern­ment and North Korea.

“The Korean Penin­sula nu­clear is­sue is re­lated to re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity,” min­istry spokesman Lu Kang said. “Break­ing the dead­lock re­quires all rel­e­vant par­ties to show their sin­cer­ity.”

Chi­nese lead­ers ar­gue against do­ing any­thing that might hurt or­di­nary North Kore­ans. They agreed to the lat­est sanc­tions af­ter the United States toned down a pro­posal for a to­tal ban on oil ex­ports to the North.

Chi­nese of­fi­cials com­plain their coun­try bears the cost of en­forc­ing sanc­tions, which have hurt busi­nesses in its north­east that trade with the North.

The lat­est round of U.N. sanc­tions bans mem­ber coun­tries from op­er­at­ing joint ven­tures with North Korea, most of which are in China.

They also ban sales of nat­u­ral gas to North Korea and pur­chases of the North’s tex­tile ex­ports, an- other key rev­enue source. They or­der other na­tions to limit fuel sup­plies to the North.

Mean­while, the United States will send “strate­gic” mil­i­tary as­sets to South Korea on a more reg­u­lar ba­sis to bet­ter de­ter North Korea, the South’s na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser said Thurs­day.

Chung Eui-young, na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser to Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in, told law­mak­ers in Seoul that Amer­i­can “strate­gic as­sets” could be de­ployed to South Korea on a “ro­ta­tional” ba­sis be­fore the end of the year.

“This will help us ex­pand our de­fense ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” he told the law­mak­ers, ac­cord­ing to Park Wan-joo, spokesman of the rul­ing Demo­cratic Party.

He did not de­fine “strate­gic as­sets,” but South Korean of­fi­cials usu­ally use the term to re­fer to B-52 bombers, stealth war­planes, nu­clear-pow­ered sub­marines and air­craft car­ri­ers.

The Pen­tagon con­firmed that Moon and Trump agreed to “en­hanced de­ploy­ment of U.S. strate­gic as­sets in and around South Korea on a ro­ta­tional ba­sis.”

GREG BAKER/GETTY-AFP

A truck re­turns to China from North Korea. China is im­ple­ment­ing its role in sanc­tions.

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