US political victory

October 20, 2006

Chinese banks have reportedly stopped financial transfers to North Korea in an effort to fulfill the obligations of Resolution 1718.

This is a signal accomplishment of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has been in talks with Chinese officials yesterday. It will be interesting to see in the next few weeks if any incentives were offered to China for this. (I.e. if any surprise announcements will be made.)

This is a fair political victory for the US, because China is ultimately the closest ally that North Korea has and is also its hub to the world economy.

What next? Negotiations? Or a second test for North Korea to ameliorate its bargaining position? Unless serious negotiations get under way after Condoleezza Rice visits Russia today, we can expect a second test to occur.

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