Chinese Leverage Key to U.S. North Korea Policy

Kevin Rudd on CNN

On April 23, 2017, Asia Society Policy Institute President Kevin Rudd spoke on “CNN Today” about China’s diplomatic influence on North Korea and its ability to shape the North Korean nuclear situation.

Acknowledging that diplomacy has been unsuccessful thus far, Rudd said that the world needs to “work with our Chinese friends because it is Chinese diplomatic and political influence on Pyongyang which at the end of the day, counts.” This is the reason, Rudd explained, that the United States is focusing its efforts on Beijing in an attempt to amplify and utilize Chinese leverage on Pyongyang.

According to Rudd, China has three pressure points it could use against North Korea. The first is “clamping down on North Korean coal exports to China which currently provide the North Koreans with the bulk of their foreign exchange.” Second, China could use “financial sanctions against the North.” Finally, as the third and most difficult option, China could look at how to “ratchet down the supply of Chinese oil into North Korea.” (7 min, 46 sec.)

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