Citing sources in North and South Korea, Reuters reports that the cost of gasoline in North Korea has dropped by nearly 50 percent following Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Exports of gasoline into North Korea have been all but banned by the United Nations, but that's obviously not being enforced anymore, at least not by the regional partners we need to enforce it (China and Russia).
The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution in December to ban nearly 90 percent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.
But as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has moved to improve relations with the United States, China and South Korea, concerns have grown that the policy of “maximum pressure” through sanctions and isolation, is losing steam. [...]
China said on Tuesday it strictly abided by U.N. sanctions, but indicated it may have resumed some fuel shipments to North Korea in the second quarter of this year.
If we're being real, I think "maximum pressure" flew out the window when Trump met with Kim Jong-un, but it wasn't just meeting him that did it.
Trump didn't just meet Kim Jong-un. Trump told the world that North Korea had agreed to do things that Kim Jong-un did not actually agree to. Trump told the world that Kim Jong-un would give up his nuclear weapons and, god willing, allow him to build a Trump resort and casino on a North Korean beach someday. But that's not happening. It's never going to happen. Trump was so desperate for a political victory and a Nobel Prize that he gave the entire game away to his would-be opponent.
I don't see how we can be mad at China for allowing gasoline to flow into North Korea after Trump declared victory and all but designated Kim Jong-un as his new best friend.
China knows Kim Jong-un hasn't and will not give up his nuclear weapons, and they may not even want to see him do so, but Trump told the world that everything is fine now. They may know it's a lie, but why not take Trump's word for it anyway?
My biggest takeaway from this is that it's occasionally geopolitically advantageous for our adversaries to play along with Trump's bullshit.