It looks like the North Koreans are at again by stealing Chinese train cars:
China suspended key rail freight services into North Korea last week after 1,800 wagons carrying food aid and tradeable goods crossed into Kim Jong-il’s hermit state but were never returned.
Absconding with Chinese wagons would be a strange move for North Korea because Beijing is Pyongyang’s closest political ally and biggest provider of food, goods and oil. Analysts monitoring North Korea said Chinese officials had privately complained to them that the North Koreans were dismantling Chinese wagons and selling them back as scrap metal.
The Chinese railway ministry suspended a number of rail freight services into North Korea on October 11, humanitarian agencies operating in North Korea told the Financial Times. The ministry told international aid agencies that it would not send any more wagons into North Korea until Pyongyang returned the 1,800 Chinese wagons. [Financial Times]
This is not strange, this is business as usual for North Korea. They will do as much as whoever their dealing with allows them to get away with. The North Koreans know the Chinese are limited in their response to stealing train cars because it is in their interest to keep North Korea afloat.
When dealing with North Korea you always have to ask yourself, what would Tony Soprano do? Tony Soprano would steal the rail cars until it was not in his interest to steal rail cars anymore. Likewise with any agreements the US signs with North Korea they will only follow that agreement along as it is in their interest to do so. If they can’t abide by agreements with China what makes people think they will abide by any agreement with the US?
HT: Left Flank