Could North Korea’s nuclear test last week be the final straw before the international community takes more serious action against the rogue regime? Chinese resistance to tougher sanctions has weakened past efforts to dissuade Pyongyang from testing nuclear capabilities, but Beijing may be shying away from their longtime ally.
In the weeks preceeding the test, Chinese diplomats were busy trying to convince North Korea to heed the cries of the international community and stand down. Pyongyang’s decision to carry out the test in the face of its only ally is a sign of how dangerous and unpredictable the regime is. If China cannot persuade North Korea, surely no one can. Furthermore, China’s apparent lack of influence may cause Beijing to re-think how far they are willing to go in support of their supposed ally. The test was carried out on the Chinese lunar new year, magnifying the amount of disrespect perceived by Beijing.
China’s main reason for supporting North Korea is to prevent a unified Korean Peninsula, which they fear would be closely allied with the United States. At what point is this threat outweighed by North Korea’s irrational and dangerous behavior? Surely China knows that North Korea’s time is running short, and they can’t continue to defend Pyongyang’s provacative actions. China’s condemnation of the nuclear test, as well as their decision in January to side with the UN Security Council in backing further sanctions for North Korea, is a step in the right direction of completely isolating North Korea from the rest of the world.
video sources from cnn.com