PRC plans North Korea kiss off

Posted on November 30, 2010


As a follow up and an illustration of the kind of enormously significant information that affects all of us in the West, I decided to highlight the Wikileaks release of the Embassy cables revealing China’s evolving new posture towards North Korea and the Il regime.  Some key points have to do with China’s overall view of this neighbor and what they believe would be the best of outcomes in terms of the future.  Naturally, there is always some risk when you are dealing with a Communist government (in this case, the PRC), that there may simply be a certain element of disinformation involved.  Communists are well known for sending out misleading signals as to their motives and intentions.  Having taken that into consideration, I still think the ostensible reasons China has put forward as to their frustration with North Korea are most likely based in reality.

The change in Chinese government perspective towards North Korea gained momentum in April 2009 shortly after the DPRK’s 3 stage missile launch over the Pacific.   From the reports on the diplomatic cables, Chinese envoys are noted as suggesting that:

  • North Korea has been behaving as a ‘spoiled child’  (this begs the question, “whose spoiled child, yours?”)
  • China envisions a reunification on the peninsula, based on the concept of the existing territory of North Korea being folded into that of South Korea and South Korea assuming the governing role.   The ostensible reason for such a acquiescence is that South Korea, its government and its economic engine would provide economic growth and stabilization to the region.  (I’m guessing that the PRC, after years of propping up the DPRK, doesn’t find North Korea and the Il regime to be the comedy act that it once was.
  • China is uncomfortable with the destabilizing effects of North Korea acquiring Nuclear weapons.   (Naturally, what they are really uncomfortable with is the constant provocations instigated by North Korea towards America and its allies.  This is a case of an emerging superpower wishing to present a benign face to other nations in order to pursue its incremental goals over time and according to careful planning and public relations.  The effect of the Il regime and its belligerent posture and behavior is essentially the same as inviting your girlfriend over to the house and your little brother acts like a little monster, thus blowing the whole scene.)
  • China sees a possible scenario whereby at some point North Korea devolves into chaos – perhaps consequentially to the range of possible events following Il’s death and the succession power grab.
  • Along with that scenario, they speculate that hundreds of thousands, perhaps a half million North Koreans will spill over the border into China.   Accordingly, China is formulating contingency plans to accommodate the  realities and necessities of such an event.
  • China claims that it has very limited influence over the Il regime.  (That’s certainly possible, but it stretches credibility to the breaking point.)
  • Equally hard to swallow is the allusion of Chinese diplomats that China would for the most part take a hands off posture in any development where the U.S. and South Korea might have to employ force to restore order on the peninsula.   The rationale supporting this policy assertion, is that China has no economic interests vis a vis North Korea and a unified Korea that is no longer hostile to China’s trading partners is a Korea that enhances trust and cooperation between them.  (Translation – North Korea has outlived its usefulness and now serves only as an excuse for the United States and Japan to beef up its military presence in the area.  Good riddance, the sooner the better)
  • Public Relations.  China is held responsible by world opinion as having prolonged the agony of Koreans on both sides of the DMZ and a fair degree of that sentiment has even creeped into various echelons of the Communist Party in the PRC.

Bottom line, it may be that China has crunched the numbers, so to speak and has come to the conclusion that the downside of the continued existence of  Il’s regime outweighs any sentimental feelings it may have had about ‘little brother’.   Little brother is a net liability.   The only question remains, it seems is when and how the house of cards is going to fall.   For the amelioration of the horrific suffering of all but the privileged few in North Korea – one can only hope it will be soon.