UC San Diego made a chart that shows a dramatic change in North Korean trade. In 2000, China, Japan and South Korea each accounted for about a fifth of it. But a downtrend had already begun for Japan – and the rest of the world.
South Korean trade with the north kept increasing until about 10 years ago. China trade with North Korea soared as the Chinese economy grew.
China bought all the coal North Korea could mine. In 2015, Kim Jung-Un came to power and South Korean trade with the north plummeted. Chinese trade soared – it’s more than 90% of all world trade with North Korea. Which is why the U.S. sees China as being fully able to get Kim Jung-Un to behave.
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