Why Did March 2016 U.N. Sanctions Not Curb China's Imports of Coal from North Korea? [February 3, 2017] [open pdf - 171KB]
"On March 2, 2016, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2270 (UNSCR 2270), imposing new sanctions on North Korea (also known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK) in response to the country's fourth nuclear test. One target of the resolution was North Korea's income from coal. North Korea's annual earnings from coal exports were estimated to be 'approximately a billion dollars,' according to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations at the time, Samantha Power. She said UNSCR 2270's limits on coal and other North Korean exports would make it 'tougher for the [North Korean] government to get the money it needs to keep funding its illicit weapons program.' [...] The broader reason why UNSCR 2270 did not curb China's imports of coal may lie with China's skepticism about the effectiveness of economic pressure in persuading North Korea to denuclearize. Chinese officials have stated that China is sincere in its opposition to North Korea's nuclear weapons program. They argue, however, that the best hope for resolving the challenge of North Korea's nuclear weapons program is through dialogue and negotiations, specifically dual track negotiations on denuclearization and on replacement of the Korean armistice with a peace treaty."
CRS Insight, IN10647
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html