Archive for the ‘North Korea/China Relations’ Category

China’s North Korea Position Makes No Sense

May 20, 2012

The ‘Illogic’ Of China’s North Korea Policy — Ralph A Cossa And Brad Glosserman, Asia Times

BEIJING – Discussions in Beijing about North Korea are always frustrating. It’s not so much due to the sharp divergence in United States and Chinese thinking about how to deal with Pyongyang; the two sides differ on many issues.

No, the real problem is the illogic of the Chinese position – at least from a US perspective. Indeed, it would be hard to create a policy toward North Korea that does more damage to Chinese national interests than Beijing’s current approach toward Pyongyang.

The standard explanation for Chinese policy goes like this: while denuclearization is desired, stability comes first. There is little chance that North Korea can be persuaded to give up its weapons – at least for a long time – as its arsenal is seen as a form of legitimacy and a deterrent to regime change.


My Comment: China has little if any concern on how North Korea behaves …. and more to the point …. it has zero concern on how North Korea treats it’s citizens. But one thing that is important to China …. is that North Korea is probably the only reliable ally that China has in Asia. And for this loyalty …. for good or bad …. China is watching North Korea’s back.

North Korean Pirates?

May 17, 2012

N. Korea Ship Seizes Chinese Boats for Ransom, Global Times Says — Bloomberg

A North Korean ship seized three Chinese boats with 29 fishermen aboard and demanded more than $140,000 to release them, China’s Global Times newspaper reported today.

The fishing boats were captured at gunpoint while trawling in Chinese waters on May 8, the newspaper said, citing an owner of one of the boats, identified as Zhang Dechang. He said the captors were demanding 300,000 yuan ($47,500) to release each vessel.


My Comment: It looks like a border and fishing violation, and the Chinese operators have been fined for their infractions. But …. if this is a rogue operation …. it will be the first indication that the North Korean central government in Pyongyang is now losing control of the outlying regions.