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Donald Trump’s Boycott Threats to North Korean Trading Partners ‘Unrealistic’

After what North Korea claimed to be “perfect success” in an underground test of what it called a hydrogen bomb, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened North Korea’s trading partners with an embargo. The president tweeted, “The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.”

Experts say that option may not be realistic, considering that the U.S. imports about $40 billion in goods each month from North Korea’s main commercial partner, China.

New York-based political analyst Sean King, Senior Vice President at Park Strategies, said he wasn’t sure how realistic the president’s threat was.

“It’d be tough to stop all trade with countries that do business with North Korea,” King said. “But I at least, like how the president’s thinking here. To start, we can get real with U.S. friends and allies, asking them why they keep doing so much business with Pyongyang.”

King said there were steps the U.S. could take in the meantime.

“One real thing that we can do right now, assuming we can’t pass a North Korea oil embargo at the UN is to deny U.S. dollar access to any mainland Chinese oil company that supplies North Korea,” King said. “Do this tomorrow.”

However, China remains a vital trading partner for the U.S., and it is also North Korea’s biggest trading partner; it accounts for about 90 percent of trade with Pyongyang.

 

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