U.S. President Donald Trump had suggested to Chinese President Xi Jinping that China should curb its business dealings with North Korea as a strategy to ensure that it leaves the path of aggression with its regular threats of nuclear missile attacks. The logic was that lack of business from China would have a financial impact on Pyongyang’s missile programs since it was already tied down by sanctions.

China had initiated certain actions on those lines but Russia has stepped in now and is playing the part of a savior by increasing trade with Pyongyang.

This boost in trade is believed to be quite substantial and is now a matter of concern for the Trump administration as well as the U.S. lawmakers. They want North Korea to suspend its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and the intervention of Russia is seen as a stumbling block that would hamper the process.

The United States must revise its strategies

USA Today reports that China is considered to be the major political and economic benefactor of North Korea and even though it has taken certain steps to reduce its business dealings, but the entry of Russia is a new development. Russia needs to play a different role if it wants stability – it should impress upon North Korea to call a halt to its programs that will harm international peace and security.

Incidentally, Russia had extended support to United Nations Security Council resolutions that imposed sanctions on North Korea and the decision to do business with it could amount to a violation.

However, the sanctions have provisions to allow a trade that pertains to some range of items like fuel shipments that do not have a direct bearing on North Korea’s illegal weapons programs.

It is possible that Russia exploited loopholes of this nature in the Security Council sanctions to give an advantage to Pyongyang. It is no secret that the country has mastered the art of surviving amidst sanctions. The proof is in the continuous testing of its missiles that require plenty of funds.

Balancing act in the Korean peninsula

A situation has now come when conflicts in the Korean peninsula between the different countries need a balancing act. The major threat is from North Korea which is determined to launch a nuclear attack on the United States in spite of sanctions imposed on it. It has gone through several failed launches but claims a gradual improvement of its weapons. While there is no evidence in support of that, observers believe that the quality of its missiles has improved.

Therefore the time has come for both Russia and China to prevail upon Pyongyang to participate in a meeting. Such an action would help resolve differences and ensure peace in the Korean peninsula. The leader of North Korea must realize that confrontation is not a solution, especially when nuclear weapons are involved. The destructive power of such weapons is unimaginable and must be avoided for the good of humanity.