Testing Chinese Support

Published on Author claud

The United Nations Security Council issued a unanimous condemnation of the nuclear test by North Korea. No matter what the UN releases as its “official” opinion, however, won’t matter if the countries in the UN do not follow through with the overall outlook. Some believe that even after this test, China may still see interest tied to the “survival of a viable and independent North Korea”. Those people highlight the failure of Chinese diplomats to “reign in” its ally in North Korea, and how this reflects upon perceptions of China.

It will be interesting to see how the relationship between North Korea and China changes over the coming years, especially as China begins its ascent as a premier, powerful, and influential international power.

(Article: Globe & Mail “Why North Korea…”)

2 Responses to Testing Chinese Support

  1. The NYT brings up a really good comparison between North Korea and Iran. China is the big reason that a financial blockade would not work in the sanctions on North Korea. As far as these new restrictions, China hasn’t done anything too out of the ordinary in a response to the nuclear test, however China has slowed their trade with North Korea the past couple of days.

    sources: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/15/china-north-korea-border/1923243/ , http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/13/world/asia/north-korea-nuclear-test.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  2. If you go further back, to the 1960s, subsidized energy imports bolstered North Korea such that it was long the more prosperous of the two Koreas. Their rigid economy (we’ll talk about that in our discussion of central planning Feb 27 and Mar 1) meant they failed to progress and SKorea overtook them. Then with the collapse of the Soviet Union subsidized energy disappeared; China only partially filled the breach. To cut a long story short, that led to economic collapse including widespread chronic malnutrition that has led to the early demise of 10% of the NKorean population.

    But China fears political collapse, and with good reason: the border with SKorea is mountainous, that with China is not. Refugees would flow north, not south.

    Nuclear weapons add to China’s unease. If North and South were to unify, the South would become a nuclear power. So propping up the North makes sense, though surely if NKorea wants to blackmail someone (which has been its longstanding policy), China is vulnerable. Rather, China is paying blackmail. South Korea and to some extent Japan face similar pressures.

    But if sanctions would work politically, the Kim family dynasty would have ended long ago. Stronger sanctions add to their grip on power.