By: Markus Garlauskas

What is the kernel of the issue?

Beijing’s obstructive approach on Korea issues should inform US policy on China. US pressure on Pyongyang faltered as Beijing failed to enforce UN sanctions—even while Beijing bullied Seoul for accepting a US THAAD interceptor battery in 2017.

Why is the issue important?

Beijing’s lifeline to Pyongyang enables North Korea’s nuclear missile programs. Meanwhile, given Beijing’s economic punishment of South Korea for accepting a US THAAD interceptor battery, Seoul is reluctant to be seen as “siding” with the US.

What is the recommendation?

The Biden administration should condemn Beijing’s economic coercion of Seoul, and launch an initiative to counter such pressure on US allies—while naming, shaming and designating Chinese companies that violate UN sanctions on NK.

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