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Saturday, February 18, 2017

This May Be A Major Success

In a little noticed story, China has cut off importing coal from North Korea effective immediately until the end of 2017.  It doesn't sound like much, but to use the Trump word, it is actually "YUGE!"

North Korea has a tiny economy.  Almost a quarter of what gets produce in the country is coal, and almost every lump of coal produced is exported to China.  That means when China cuts off coal imports from the NKs, it is a major blow to the entire country of North Korea.

So how did this come to happen?  At the end of the week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with his Chinese counterpart at the G20 meeting in Europe.  The word after the meeting was that Tillerson emphasized to the Chinese that America saw it as very important that the Chinese use their influence to moderate the warlike behavior of the North Koreans.  In just the last month, the North Koreans have tested multiple missiles in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.  The day after the Tillerson meeting in Europe, the Chinese announced that they were cutting off imports of coal from North Korea.

There's no way to know for sure if the Chinese were responding to the American pressure for them to get control of the NKs, but it certainly appears as if that is what happened.  If so, it is a major victory for President Trump and his administration and for both the USA and the world.  China has been the country that has propped up the North Korean regime for decades.  China is also the country (and the only one) that can pull the NKs back from their aggressive course without war or at least the threat of war.

It is interesting to note that while media outlets like the NY Times, Washington Post, NPR and the BBC reported this story, not one of them mentioned the meeting between Tillerson and the Chinese.  It just kills them to think that maybe President Trump got something moving where president Obama was totally ineffective.

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