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North Korea Fallout
Beijing’s High-Maintenance Best Friend

Last week, we wondered if Beijing might be getting cold feet about the UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea. Not yet, according to an AP report from early this morning:

China, North Korea’s most important ally, has reaffirmed its commitment to fully implement United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang over its recent nuclear tests and missile launches.

In a phone conversation with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also called for new talks with North Korea on nuclear disarmament, China’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Since agreeing to the new sanctions, China has redoubled calls for a two-track solution aiming to resolve the nuclear issue while forging a permanent peace agreement to replace the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

North Korea has been flailing its arms lately, promising more nuclear and missile tests, most likely in reaction to a set of large-scale military exercises that South Korea held with the United States. In addition, Seoul has made it increasingly clear that it is open to deploying the sophisticated American THAAD anti-missile systems on its soil—something the Chinese in particular are not keen to see happen, given how those same systems could easily intercept missiles over China.

Nevertheless, the Chinese are keeping things on an even keel—rhetorically anyway—calling for “caution in both word and deed from all sides,” according to Xinhua.

An unruly Kim dynasty stirring up trouble does nothing good for Beijing. For example, before Pyongyang started acting out this year, Beijing and Seoul had been moving closer together. The North’s tests have all but scuppered those efforts, with Seoul strengthening its relationship not just with Washington, but also with Tokyo. Best friends—if they’re as deranged as the regime in Pyongyang—can be a real pain sometimes…

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  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    China is a territorially aggressive and belligerent Nation, that doesn’t have any friends, only tools of convenience. North Korea in this instance is a buffer zone between China and the Americans, who China tangled with in the Korean War, and lost huge numbers of troops in doing so. As far as China and South Korea moving closer together, that is nothing more than “political deception” designed to delay and degrade a response to China’s encroachment into the China Sea and elsewhere. China knows it’s “political deception” isn’t ever going to achieve very much more than some “time”, they think that’s enough, they might be right.
    “You can ask me for anything you like, except time” ― Napoléon Bonaparte
    But I think their “empire building” moves will proved to be a bad strategy. America is the “Super Power”, and America became so by purposely “Not building an Empire”. China’s drive for empire is generating an opposition, an opposition that America will come to organize and lead, solidifying America’s position as mankind’s leading culture.

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