“North Korea and China do not depend on each other as much as some people think,” said Chung Young-chul, a North Korea expert at Sogang University’s Graduate School of Public Policy in Seoul.
“Culturally and historically, as South Koreans do, North Koreans also have a penchant for demeaning the Chinese ... And North Koreans strongly oppose being flunkeys for China.”
SANCTIONS IMPLEMENTATION HARD TO GAUGE
China negotiated the U.N. sanctions with the United States that were imposed in response to the Feb. 12 nuclear test and has said it wanted them implemented.
The measures tighten financial curbs on North Korea, order checks of suspicious cargo and strengthen a ban on luxury goods entering the country.
China has said nothing publicly about what it has done to implement the sanctions on the ground.
Some commodities traders have noted a slowdown in the trade of iron ore and coking coal from North Korea. South Korean media has said China has been refusing to renew visas for North Korean factory workers in the Chinese border city of Dandong.
One South Korean media report also said China had fired a warning shot to North Korean banks in China, telling them to stay within the remit of their permitted operations.