Monday, October 16, 2006

China Inspects North Korean Cargo

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea appeared to slip further into isolation on Monday, as China - under intense pressure to enforce new U.N. sanctions - inspected cargo trucks bound for its communist ally and stepped up construction of a border fence.

Japan - once a major trading partner with the North Korea - said it was considering further sanctions, and Australia banned the North's ships from its ports.

The Chinese inspections at a border crossing with the North came amid concerns that Beijing would ignore the new U.N. sanctions leveled against the reclusive communist country for its proclaimed nuclear test. China is a major trader with North Korea and its support is key to the success of the new U.N. measures, which call for nations to check cargo leaving and arriving from North Korea.

Hmmm. Color me unconvinced. Expecting China to enforce UN resolutions on North Korea just seems a bit optimistic for my taste. While China may well not rise to the point of enemy, it is certainly in the adversary category. Both Russia and China had to be cajoled into signing on to these sanctions. That said, both of these countries may well have an incentive to put a leash on Kim Jong Il but I don't expect that leash to be particularly short, or secure.

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