Der Spiegel reports on the potential implications for China-North Korea trade under the new sanctions against Pyongyang:
Trucks wait in a rumbling line to cross the bridge over the Yalu River. They’re fully loaded as they cross the river into North Korea — the semi-trailers, though, tend to be empty on the return run back to China. The poor, isolated country simply doesn’t have much to offer in return for the electronic goods, hardware, fruit, clothes, oil and grain China exports to North Korea. The goods are unloaded as soon as they cross the river — North Korean trucks carry them further into the country.
The remote border crossing, which hosts a lion’s share of the commerce between China and North Korea — which amounted to some $500 million last year — has hardly received much of the world’s attention in the past. But that may soon change. The sanctions passed by the UN Security Council against North Korea Saturday — in response to the country’s apparent testing of a nuclear bomb just over a week ago — will also have to be enforced here. Indeed, one of the most pressing political questions currently facing the world will have to be settled in the border town of Dandong: How serious is Beijing about reprimanding its tiny neighbor and its leader Kim Jong Il?
For the time being, China is still in step with the world community. Controls along the border will be tightened in accord with the Security Council resolution. But trade with North Korea can be profitable — and it’s in China’s economic interest to let it flourish. [Full text]
The article also includes a slideshow of Dandong. Meanwhile, the Australian reports that some in China may support regime change in Pyongyang:
THE Chinese are openly debating “regime change” in Pyongyang after last week’s nuclear test by their confrontational neighbour.
Diplomats in Beijing said at the weekend that China and all the major US allies believed North Korea’s claim that it had detonated a nuclear device. US director of national intelligence John Negroponte circulated a report that radiation had been detected at a site not far from the Chinese border.
The US may have employed highly classified satellite technology to detect tiny leaks of gas or elements associated with nuclear detonation, according to a diplomatic source in the Chinese capital. This would explain Washington’s reluctance to explain the findings in public. [Full text]