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the world continues to lose patience with North Korea, countries near and far are looking for new ways to tame the regime. A Chinese ban on selling coal to Pyongyang was seen as a potential game changer when it was announced last month but nearly three weeks later, doubts are creeping in over whether or not Beijing will actually go through with it.
Reuters' Breakingviews columnist Lisa Jucca reports.>> China has traditionally been quite skeptical of the use of sanctions as a tool to force North Korea to the negotiating table. In particular, they don't like unilateral sanction imposed for instance, by the United States or other countries. China has the power to inflict some real damage on North Korea because coal imports into China are the main source of revenues for North Korea, I mean when you look at the trade flows.
However, it's really up to China to follow through on it's pledge and we don't know yet whether this is gonna happen.>> So if China drags it's feet what other options are there? One possibility, secondary sanctions from the US via China similar to what happened this week when Washington fined the Chinese telecoms maker ZTE Close to $1billion for selling products made with American pots to North Korea.
>> The US is not being shy about going after Chinese companies. But this also carries some risk because if they push China too hard, this could escalate tensions between Beijing and Washington.>> Another key problem, the rise of small, homegrown businesses fueling North Korea's economy and making it more resilient to sanctions than it was in the past.
The takeaway for analysts, cooperation between Pyongyang traditional friends and foes may be the only way to contain Kim Jong-un's nuclear nation.>>