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Little Fatty Kim
North Korea and China’s Deteriorating Relationship
North Korea is often called China’s only friend, but analysts have long known that alliances aside, neither country is in fact all that fond of the other. A new report from the FT highlighting just how much Pyongyang and Beijing can’t stand each other makes for some fun reading:
In official rhetoric, America is always “our sworn enemy”, Japan is the “thrice-cursed imperialist nation” that occupied the country for 50 years and South Korea is an evil puppet regime. But when people spit this vitriol they often seem to be going through the motions. With China, however, the insults were more spontaneous and the depth of feeling obvious.

In China itself, North Korea is seen as an embarrassing joke — a starving Stalinist anachronism that reminds many of life under the totalitarianism that China abandoned in the late 1970s.

Any time North Korea acts out, it’s bad news for Beijing. Since Pyongyang became more belligerent earlier this year, South Korea and Japan have stopped responding to China’s friendly noises. Instead, they’re working more closely with each other and with Washington. Given how much North Korea frustrates China’s grander foreign policy efforts, it makes sense that Beijing would be getting annoyed.
So how hostile are the Chinese, really? This juicy bit from the FT should give an idea:
However, in a country so dominated by the cult of personality, it is probably the personal that matters most. Mr Kim is popularly referred to in China as “little fatty Kim” and even seasoned Chinese diplomats cannot hide their disdain for a man that ordinary North Koreans are required to revere as a god.

It’s really an insightful article into a very important relationship. You should take a couple minutes to read the whole thing.

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  • Angel Martin

    “The West are wishful thinkers. We will give them what they want to think.”
    Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Cheka.

    All of a sudden, both North Korea and China are trying to convince us that they don’t like each other any more.

    All of a sudden, China is trying to tell us that Pyongyang is an out of control rogue nation that they can’t influence.

    All of a sudden, Russia is signalling that it shares American concerns about North Korea by foregoing vetoes at the UN.

    That is the wishful thinking. Here is the reality.

    Russia and China are supposedly oh so concerned with North Korea, but they oppose an ABM system that is specifically designed to protect against Pyongyang.

    When someone attempts to interfere with your ability to defend yourself against a fanatical and dangerous enemy. That is an extremely hostile act, and representative of someone who are themselves, an enemy.

    The greatest failure of the western diplomatic and journalistic elite is in enemy identification. Even overtly hostile acts do not clue them in because they are too bound up in their flawed world view, arrogance and wishful thinking.

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