U.S. Challenges in North Korea *Exclusive
By EWI BLOG | by Rachel Ehrenfeld
Monday, March 18th, 2013 @ 4:45PM
As with Iran, talks and lax sanctions regimes have failed to prevent North Korea’s nuclear buildup.
Congratulating China’s new president Xi Jingping, President Obama called Xi’s attention to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs that increasingly threaten the United States and its allies. Obama “stressed the need for close coordination with China to ensure North Korea meets its denuclearization commitments.”
The Chinese however, have their own agenda. “Whether China – which holds and manages life-support for Pyongyang with massive food and energy aid in exchange, in part, for metals imports – would or could force Pyongyang to back off is a moot point. There is evidence the new Chinese leadership like its predecessors is conflicted, especially with reported support for Pyongyang in the People’s Liberation Army with its growing influence over all Beijing decision-making,” observed Sol Sanders.
In addition to China, South Korean, and some 30 European companies have invested in copper and gold mines, in North Korea, a well as factories of all sorts, and even Internet service.
According to Business Week, German owned DHL (DPW), delivers packages, and “German-backed outsourcer Nosotek offers North Korean programming help to Western companies developing cell-phone games. Egypt’s Orascom Telecom (OTLD) is building a 3G mobile-phone network. France’s Lafarge (LG) owns 30 percent of a cement plant… Two Hong Kong-listed companies operate casinos for tourists (locals aren’t allowed in),” and a Swedish group markets North Korean makes Noko Jeans.
Finally, Reza Kahlili, pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, have shed light on how North Korea’s nuclear program is being used by the Chinese to facilitate the Iranian nuclear program. When the Revolutionary Guards failed to make good on Chinese missile technology, China has enlisted the North Koreans to fix the problems: “Ultimately it was agreed that in exchange for $7 billion, hardware, installation and launch of the technology and the necessary training for the project would be handled by the North Koreans, since Pyongyang doesn’t recognize the U.N. sanctions.”
For now, it seems that China’s support of North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear ambitions and missile programs, as well as the Chinese military’s growing strength and the increase pace and volume of its cyber attacks on the U.S., will continue unabated.