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This Big North Korea Bargaining Chip Is About to Expire, so Trump Must Move Fast


Might Trump announce a second summit meeting with Kim Jong Un as a pre-election day surprise? Watch Gary Lane's Where in The World interview with Harry Kazianis to find out. 

Most foreign policy experts view President Trump's conciliatory remarks at the United Nations about Kim Jong Un as a step forward. But at least one analyst says the president must act quickly to solidify a deal with North Korea before the US trade dispute with China intensifies.

"The maximum pressure campaign on North Korea is going to start to fade in the next few months with the United States and China locked into a trade war," said Harry Kazianis of the Center for the National Interest. "We have to remember, China is actually the one that enforces maximum pressure."

Appearing on the CBN News show The Global Lane, Kazianis said the US tariff war with China is having a huge impact on negotiations with North Korea.   

"China is not going to back maximum pressure anymore. In fact, they are going to use it as a chip, bargaining chip in this whole process. If President Trump is going to strike a deal on North Korea, this is when he's going to get the best terms. Any time after that, it's going to get a lot harder," Kazianis explained.

Kazianis said the Chinese are looking at ways to strike back at the United States for imposing a 10 percent tariff this week on more than $200 billion of Chinese imports. President Trump has said he intends to increase the duties to 25 percent by the end of this year. Trump has said China's $375 billion trade surplus is proof that Beijing engages in unfair trade practices and the tariffs help level the playing field.

Some economists predict the Chinese yuan may plummet by 10 percent or more as a result of the escalating tariffs.

Kazianis said one way the Chinese are likely to respond is to allow North Korea to have a free hand to weaken restrictions on their border. He suggests many people incorrectly assume the US Navy can intercept sanctions-busting oil shipments to North Korea.

"Well, guess what? Almost all of the oil that goes into North Korea comes from one pipeline—it comes from China. That's 90 percent of North Korea's oil," Kazianis explained.
"All China has to do is open up those taps and maximum pressure is toast."

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