China could easily use its muscle to help put a stop to North Korea’s growing nuclear threat, but has continuously refused to do so, a top research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute says.
“What China has never done is use its quite substantial leverage to try to convince or coerce North Korea to act differently,’’ Michael Mazza told Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show’’ Tuesday.
“I’m talking about the shipments of oil, the financial investments, trade and food aid. If China were to ever cut off or at least cut back on some of those things, it would send an extremely powerful message to North Korea and just might get them to behave differently. But China has always refused.’’
He said North Korea’s third nuclear test on Tuesday against strict United Nations resolutions was timed to coincide with President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
“Absolutely. . . . That’s the most obvious. It’s a pretty clever way of getting American attention,’’ said Mazza, whose public policy think-tank is based in Washington, D.C.
“It’s also timed to coincide with the upcoming transfer of power in South Korea where a new president will soon be inaugurated.’’
He told Malzberg that it is difficult to access at the moment just what capability North Korea has to strike the United States.
“Either they can get the United States with a missile or they will soon be able to,’’ Mazza said.
“A lot of people have sort of poo-pooed and denigrated North Korea’s technological prowess, but what we’ve seen is that even with very limited testing over the years, they’re able to make progress.’’
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