North Korea’s third nuclear test is a good time for China to re-evaluate its longstanding alliance with the Kim dynasty. If China wants to increase its profitable alliance with US, it should press for the reunification of Korea.
In the February 28th edition of the Financial Times, Deng Yuwen writes: "A relationship between states based on ideology is dangerous. If we were to choose our allies on ideology alone, China’s relationship with the west today would not exist. Although both countries are socialist, their differences are much larger than those between China and the west.
"(Also) basing China’s strategic security on North Korea’s value as a geopolitical ally is outdated. Even if North Korea was a useful friend during the cold war, its usefulness today is doubtful." The Chinese see their relationship with Pyongyang through their shared sacrifice during the Korean war instead of today’s reality. They describe it as a "friendship sealed in blood."
But Yuwen writes: "As early as the 1960s, North Korea rewrote the history of the war. To establish the absolute authority of Kim Il-sung, its founder, North Korea removed from historical record the contribution of the hundreds of thousands of sons and daughters of China who sacrificed themselves to beat the UN troops back to the 38th parallel that now divides the peninsula. Many cemeteries commemorating the volunteer soldier heroes have been leveled, and Kim Il-sung was given all the credit for the offensive."
If North Korea develops nuclear weapons, the US might have to launch a preemptive attack, before they reach the point where they’re able to use them (it’s the same conundrum we have with a nuclear Iran). South Korea is a US ally and we’re pledged to protect them.
Also, the new head of North Korea, Kim Jong-eun, may find it advantageous to engage in nuclear blackmail against China. It was once hoped that he would bring in some reforms after taking power in 2011 after his father’s death, but most heads of state have given up on that hope. And the country’s ruling group probably wouldn’t let him do that anyway, since, as Yuwen says, "Once the door of reform opened, the regime could be overthrown."
Yes, we may see some incredible events in the future (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). The reunification of Korea won’t happen tomorrow, but here’s something that WILL: The Nashville Symposium May 17-19. Seating is limited, so click here to get your tickets now!
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