North Koreans are reportedly experiencing long lines at the gas pump, prompting speculation over whether China is withholding fuel supplies in an effort to put pressure on President Kim Jung-un to curb his developing nuclear program.
Gas prices were on the rise in Pyongyang on Friday as some stations restricted services, according to The Washington Post. North Korea depends on China for much of its fuel supply. The report said the reason for the long lines and restricted service is still unknown.
News of the potential fuel shortage follows President Trump’s recent calls for China to do more to help solve the problem of a nuclear-armed North Korea.
After hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort earlier this month, Trump said he told Xi that the United States will negotiate a “far better” trade deal with China if it resolves solve the issue of North Korean aggression.
Other members of the Trump administration have emphasized the need to work with China to curtail North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday said solving the nuclear issue through “peaceful means” is a possibility with China’s help.
“We truly believe that, as our allies in the region and China bring that pressure to bear, there is a chance that we can achieve a historic objective of a nuclear-free Korea peninsula by peaceful means,” Pence said during a press conference with the Australian prime minister, as reported by Reuters.
“We are encouraged by the steps that China has taken so far.”
North Korea last week failed to launch a ballistic missile, which the U.S. military said “blew up almost immediately.”
SOURCE: MALLORY SHELBOURNE