Beijing vs. Pyongyang vs. The World

A fleet of North Korean cargo ships is heading home to the port of Nampo, the majority of it fully laden, after China ordered its trading companies to return coal from the isolated country, shipping data shows.

Following repeated missile tests that drew international criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on Feb. 26, cutting off the country’s most important export product.

To curb coal traffic between the two countries, China’s customs department issued an official order on April 7 telling trading companies to return their North Korean coal cargoes, said three trading sources with direct knowledge of the order. Source, John Ruwitch and Meng Meng, Reuters


Much of North Korea’s energy is powered by domestic mined coal, while China’s coal imports from the hermit kingdom has plunged this year along with the suspension the issuing of new permits of imports in corporation with the sanctions against Pyongyang imposed by the United Nations. Despite the return of this shipment of coal, China is a coal burning country where clear blue skies are few if ever. On the surface this return seem all well and good, however, mother earth’s environment can care less if the coal is burned in China, North Korea or Wabash, Indiana, the effect on global warming will be just as destructive, to both air and water, and a major threat to all life on earth. The technology dream of burning coal then being able to capture the carbon dioxide, the principal gas that moves the planet toward global warming, then storing it underground, to this blogger, seem more and more like a pipe dream that may never be fully realized, at least not in my life time. And if such gases can be safely stored underground, for how long, what if it should escape all at once, what protection will then jolt in or not? Kick me if you have heard this before, the world will then be just too hot to handle.


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