President Trump has pointed out the strong linkage between China and North Korea, and he correctly assumes China can influence North Korea’s weapons development program. We must work with China on resolving this situation, and also on the Chinese encroachment in the South China Sea and the trade deficit imbalance.
At this juncture, the North Korean nuclear missile program is of primary concern. China can bring pressure on North Korea to stop its development of these weapons systems by reducing its trade with North Korea.
One area of trade that comes to mind is the large quantity of coal China imports from North Korea. It is estimated this amounts to 22 million tons per year, which is 40 percent of North Korea’s coal exports. A reduction in the importation of North Korean coal would significantly impact the North Korean economy, and could force it to change its position on arms development.
The U.S. has large quantities of coal available for mining, which could be sold to China, if cost effective, to fill its coal importation needs. This would help our trade imbalance with China, boost our coal mining industry, and put our coal miners back to work.