US President Donald Trump has said several times that China could help stop North Korea’s nuclear advancement if Beijing agreed to use its economic leverage as North Korea’s top trading partner. Beijing has dismissed the argument, saying it is not Beijing but Washington and Pyongyang that should solve their differences. China has called for the US and South Korea to stop provocative military exercises in exchange for the North freezing its nuclear and missile tests. But the US does not believe such compromises will win corresponding concessions from the Stalinist regime, as the North’s leader Kim Jong-un has a poor record of honouring promises. Meanwhile, the bigger question hanging over this compromised resolution is whether Beijing will honour the sanctions. Suspicion over China’s sincerity in implementation became clear when the Trump administration threatened to punish Chinese entities who violated the UN pact.