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Stavridis: US Needs China to Make NKorea Sanctions Stick

Image: Stavridis: US Needs China to Make NKorea Sanctions Stick
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By    |   Monday, 07 Aug 2017 09:47 AM

North Korea has been sanctioned "again and again and again" over the past several decades without real effect, but it will depend on China to be sure the sanctions stick and work this time around, retired Admiral James Stavridis said Monday.

"At the end of the day we are where we were a week ago, which is that all roads to Pyongyang are going to lead through Beijing," Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Democracy at Tufts University and an NBC analyst, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "Let's see how the Chinese really walk the walk as opposed to talking the talk at the security council, but all in all, it is a good thing, the security council vote [of] yes."

On Saturday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution to significantly strengthen sanctions on North Korea. The ban on exports is aimed at depriving Pyongyang of $1 billion in annual revenue.

The sweeping measures were the first of that scope to be imposed on North Korea since President Donald Trump took office and highlighted China's willingness to punish its Pyongyang ally. Russia also voted in favor of the sanctions.

Stavridis said Monday he finds Ambassador Nikki Haley is "turning out to be a pleasant surprise at the United Nations.

"Going into her appointment, you wouldn't have thought the Trump administration would really care so much about the United Nations, but she's been using a different set of talking points kind of from day one," said the retired admiral. "She does go after Russia. She does work collaboratively with our allies. I think a lot of the credit for this is parked with Ambassador Haley."

Stavridis noted that there are three options when it comes to North Korea, and none of the three are good ones.

"One is the military option, either massive or precision," said Stavridis. "That's bad, because we're going to lose a lot of people in the course of this, and it's hard to predict how it ends up."

The second option is to get China involved, which could require secondary sanctions on that country and the third option is to continue to use deterrence and hope that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un changes his ways, said Stavridis.

"None of these are good options," he said. "We'll probably end up somewhere between option two and option three."

However, he does not believe the Security Council, on which China sits, will go along with sanctions against that country.

"What we might be able to do is craft what we did with Iran, which would be a secondary sanctions regime that would involve the European Union alongside us," he said, but he also does not think that is likely.

"If we want to really move Beijing, we're either going to have to offer them a carrot or a stick or some combination," said Stavridis. "The stick would be secondary sanctions, the carrot might be cooperation on something that really matters to them, perhaps in the South China Sea. I wouldn't advise going there, to the administration."

He said he would, though, avoid a massive campaign of secondary sanctions, but he still can see a "precision guided campaign" of sanctions that would take on just a few selected industries, including some very involved in North Korea.

"We're not going to simply convince China to support us on this one," he said. "We need to nudge them along, and finally, we're going to have to realize my view at some point we have to live with this. Again, not a good option, but I think that's where this one is headed."

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North Korea has been sanctioned "again and again and again" over the past several decades without real effect, but it will depend on China to be sure the sanctions stick and work this time around, retired Admiral James Stavridis said Monday.
james stavridis, US, china, north korea, sanctions
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2017-47-07
Monday, 07 Aug 2017 09:47 AM
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