North Korea Fallout
U.S. and China Agree to North Korea Sanctions

American and Chinese officials agreed to a draft of sanctions on North Korea this morning, and they plan to submit them to the United Nations Security Council. The New York Times:

The draft resolution, which United States officials said they intended to circulate Thursday among the 15 members of the Security Council, marks a diplomatic pivot for the Chinese. It seems to have been sparked by North Korea’s claim in early January that it had tested its first hydrogen bomb.

American and Chinese diplomats have spent the past two months negotiating the text and pushing for ways to better enforce existing sanctions. That has been the principal challenge with this and other sanctions.

The proposal is likely to come up for a vote in the coming days.

Other developments that likely got Beijing’s attention: South Korea and Japan looking to the U.S. and moving ahead on countermeasures without Chinese cooperation. As we’ve been saying, when North Korea misbehaves, China loses. It looks like officials in Beijing have decided it’s best to compromise and minimize the damage to their international standing. Now the measures go to the UN Security Council where they may still face resistance from Moscow.

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