NORTH KOREA: North Korea is in deep trouble, as I've written before. Their only lifeline to the outside world is China, and the Chinese have always maintained that North Korea is their friend, and that they would oppose any economic sanctions against them. Without Chinese participation, no sanction regime could possibly be implemented successfully. In fact, North Korea already has little money to buy goods from anyone even without sanctions in place. Now that the US has cut off the oil supply we were bribing them with, China is North Korea's only real source of energy.

According to this article,

For three straight days in recent weeks, something remarkable happened to the oil pipeline running through northeast China to North Korea - the oil stopped flowing, according to diplomatic sources, temporarily cutting off a vital lifeline for North Korea.

The pipeline shutdown, officially ascribed to a technical problem, followed an unusually blunt message delivered by China to its longtime ally in a high-level meeting in Beijing last month, the sources said. Stop your provocations about the possible development of nuclear weapons, China warned its neighbor, or face Chinese support for economic sanctions against the regime.

This might send the tough message that the North Koreans need to hear. Ideally, China will cut them off and their government will collapse with a wimper.



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