Days after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping, ruling Democratic party leader Choo Mi-ae will give a keynote address at a conference in Beijing today.
Ms Choo began her four-day visit on Thursday by urging China to take action against Pyongyang– a response to North Korea’s latest missile test. The meeting comes as Beijing and Seoul have moved to mend their differences over the deployment of the THAAD missile defence shield, which angered China earlier this year.
Top of the agenda is Seoul’s wish for the “peaceful resolution” of the North Korean issue. As Seoul feels Beijing can do more, Ms Choo will be pressing for harsher sanctions.
Beijing could cut off trade of textiles and clothing– valuable foreign currency earnings for Pyongyang. The ultimate resort is cutting off crude oil shipments into North Korea, which could spark the collapse of the Kim regime and the unification of the peninsula under Seoul’s (and Washington’s) influence.
As ties mend over THAAD, expect the South to press Beijing about North Korea, with the hope President Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power after the 19th Community Party Congress will allow him the leeway to increase sanctions.
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John is a Senior Analyst with an interest in Indo-Pacific geopolitics. Master of International Relations (Australian National University) graduate with study focus on the Indo-Pacific. Qualified lawyer (University of Auckland, NZ) with experience in post-colonial Pacific & NZ legal systems.