sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, May 5, 2017

China tries to School the Norks.

I hadn't planned on blogging today, but I've been keeping those who read this blog up to speed with events in China and North Korea. There is some interesting information on that front, so I'll share it for your consumption.

On 4 May, the quasi-official newspaper Global Times replied to the commentary critical of China that was published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 3 May. Even though these two players are batting the ping-pong ball back and forth 'unofficially', it's official enough -- and they both know that it is. So does the US, Japan, Russia and everyone else with an interest in the evolving situation between China and North Korea.

The public dispute between these two communist states is without precedent. A report posted on the Daily NK defector web site said that citizens in one border province of North Korea have attended mandatory political instruction lectures that continuously criticize China. They claim China is blocking Korean unification. In criticizing China, the lectures use the same rhetoric previously associated with the US.

Ok, on to the Global Times and what they're saying:
“This is the third time in recent months the KCNA has published a bylined editorial critical of China. Unlike the first two pieces that did not mention China or any names of Chinese media outlets, this latest one did.”
After summarizing the main points of the KCNA commentary, which you read about on yesterday's blog post, Global Times provided its counterpoint.
“The KCNA opinion piece contains no new substantive information, except mentioning the names of China, People's Daily, and Global Times and expressing a stronger disgruntling. It did not mention China's support for the United Nations sanctions against North Korea. Nor did it state Pyongyang's next step to take. Overall, the editorial is nothing more than a hyper-aggressive piece completely filled with nationalistic passion.”

“Pyongyang obviously is grappling with some form of irrational logic over its nuclear program. Beijing does not need to engage in a tit-for-tat argument with Pyongyang. However, it should express its own opinions regardless of what Pyongyang has said.”

“Beijing needs to make China’s standing and position very clear to Pyongyang, either on an official or grassroots level. It needs to address with Pyongyang its concerns and bottom line. It should also make Pyongyang aware that it will react in unprecedented fashion if Pyongyang conducts another nuclear test. Beijing should not hesitate in delivering this message, and there is certainly no need to debate this issue back and forth with Pyongyang.

“The differences and contradictions between China and North Korea will not be solved through any sort of argumentative effort. Beijing can see from the KCNA editorial that Pyongyang does not understand the real meaning of ‘national interest’ when it comes to the big picture of Chinese diplomacy. Nor does it understand Beijing's deep concern for the potential risks posed by Pyongyang's nuclear tests to people living in northeastern China.”

The editorial concludes with recommendations for higher levels of dialogue to pull North Korea out of the “blind alley it insists on remaining in, especially when the country considers nuclear weapons ‘as precious as its own life,’ as it put in the article.”
The editorial writer wrote that what matters is not what Pyongyang says, but what it does next. China needs more certainty about the positions of North Korea and the US. The concluding paragraph follows.
“The direction of China-North Korea relations remains in the hands of China. Whether KCNA editorials mention China or Chinese media by name or not, those missions will not change the inherent logic and trend of a relationship that has been in place for over six decades. The more editorials KCNA publishes, the better Chinese society will be able to understand how Pyongyang thinks, and how hard it is to solve this nuclear issue.”
Update: Un accuses CIA of attempted assassination
Although dismissing point-by point argumentation, the editorial engages in it to some extent. The Global Times editorial treats North Korea as a wayward neophyte who needs more tutelage and guidance.

The editorial writer seems taken aback by North Korea’s identification of nuclear weapons with the life of the state. It is a dead end because the logic of that statement is that North Korea will cease to exist if and when the nuclear weapons are destroyed. That language and position rule out any room for negotiations about the nuclear program.

This is problematic.

It's in the interest of the planet to thwart North Korea's nuclear weapons program and China's amusement at their satrap's antics has ended.

Expect a sixth nuclear weapons test explosion in defiance of China and the US. China will respond by mobilizing its military for a response to North Korea. There are Chinese troops on the border with North Korea, but one more stage of movement is required. It will be accompanied by removing Chinese civilians from the border area. At the same time, China will cut off oil supplies and food to North Korea.

The question of whether North Korea strikes South Korea at this point is one that only a few in North Korea can answer, and I don't think that a decision for national suicide has been made yet. Though that's what Kim Jong Un has hinted at.

The US is present to deal with that eventuality if things go that far. China understands this and has green-lighted the US response, which everyone understands may involve tactical nuclear weapons if North Korea goes nuclear against the South - and/or China. 


19 comments:

  1. Let China deal with it. No US boots on the ground.

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  2. Why wait until North Korea makes the first move... especially in regards to an attach into South Korea? We have a good number of troops there that could not survive a nuke blast. Work up a deal with China and take the gnat out of our ear. Hit them first and hard. Then roll the little fat ball into a prison cell and let the roaches worship him.

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    1. We don't know what intelligence/operational assets that China has close to the throne. They may be able to get rid of the boy king without so much as a twitch. That would be the better course and his successor could be 'guided' by a Chinese celestial who would help him fix the problems that the country faces - with China's help. The first step would be to hand over the nukes to China.

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  3. > [Beijing] will react in unprecedented fashion
    Pretty sure that doesn't mean China will give Master Kim Chol the keys to the Central Kingdom, even though that would indeed be unprecedented. Somehow that strikes me as more than the usual "shit talking"....

    On a sort of side note, do you think this PRC-DPRK confrontation was essentially inevitable, or much more likely a result of us having a Trump administration as opposed to an HRC regime?

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    1. Eventually North Korea would have nuked Seoul or Tokyo or would have tried to deliver one by submarine to Hawaii or the US mainland. Or they would have shot one off and it would have hit Bejing or Vladivostok by accident. The Hermit Kingdom is an accident waiting to happen under Un.

      The arrival of Donald Trump and an assertive cabinet meant that they were willing to concede trading issues for China's intervention. My sense is that China felt that if it just counseled the Norks, that they'd back down, but that has not been the case.

      Hillary Clinton was/is more of a war hawk than Trump is. She is not the weak, metrosexual, hope and change golfer that Barack was. In this case, North Korea had gone as far as the US was willing to let it go - no matter who (including Barack) was president. China knows this, and they're tired of their satrap too.

      The North Koreans will push it to see whether or not China blinks. They won't. It's in the nature of that North Korean regime to get away with as much as they can - and then push it further. That has been their history. They are the Hermit Kingdom, the Mouse that Roared, and they want to be taken seriously even though they are a tragic comedy. China is taking them seriously now as is the US.

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    2. P. S. Hillary soft-peddled Benghazi because Ambassador Stephens was on a secret mission for Sec. Clinton to buy back Stingers that she personally took out of US Army inventory to give them. She had fingerprints all over that deal. So when the buy-back became a heist, Clinton reacted to save her own skin.

      HRC was incompetent, smug, arrogant and thoroughly corrupt, but she's left a lot of bodies (in the US) in her political wake and wouldn't hesitate to send US troops to crush this or that problem. She would have been a war president if just to prove that a woman can do that (since she would have personally remained safe and protected at home).

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    3. I was probably being unclear (or misunderstanding your response). I wasn't implying that Trump is "getting us into war with the Norks" whereas "HRC would not have done that." I could see an HRC regime getting us into all sorts of problems inimical to US interests, short and long term, for the sake of a few bucks going to the CGI (or whatever they'd have set up in its place), including a confrontation with the DPRK, if there was money or personal leverage to be got. What I would not have expected from HRC is to have (put?) China in a position of (finally) taking the lead in pressuring the DPRK.

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  4. Un should expect more that it might be China trying to assassinate him. Though China probably would succeed at that.

    Wait and see, and yes. None of our boots on the ground.

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    1. I strongly doubt that the US tried to assassinate Un. He's claiming that to inflame the people who worship in the Dear Leader Cult. The US will leave all that to China -- and as you suggest, I doubt that they will miss.

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    2. I dunno...there is one compelling piece of evidence that the CIA did go after Un, and that is that Un is still alive. How many boxes of exploding cigars did the CIA send Castro? He lived to be 90.

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    3. On par, the CIA does a good job. There are problematic issues when a president (calling the shots for the executive) directs CIA to focus on global warming...things like that. I agree that they never got The Beard, and that is embarrassing.

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  5. LL, thanks for your observations and analysis. It is very insightful and a hard thing to find this sort of perspective, at least in my circles.

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  6. I think the problem is that China (as well as the US) think that Un can be manipulated by concern for "his people". I think that is a silly notion. That entire family has never shown any concern for the people who live in N. Korea, except as peons to do whatever they are told.
    We need to stay out of there, but I bet we wind up going in.

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    1. South Korea is our horse in the race. If the Norks leave them alone, the US won't get involved. But I don't think that anyone has any illusions that will happen.

      None of the elites give a tinker's damn about the people in North Korea. They're all prisoners in the national gulag who survive by going along with the program. I don't think that either the US or China believe that some sort of humanitarian plea will work. However, if the country starves (the Army will starve last), it can't fight. If it has no oil, it must use the DPRK's strategic reserve (same with food). Those reserves will run out. The Chinese will have the thing figured right down to the last grain of rice. Starvation matters, but the army keeps the mob from rising and it keeps the "enemies of Un" out. So he cares about them to that extent.

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  7. Thanks for the briefing. As always, appreciated. Thanks, too, for the word "satrap." It always reminds me of the DNC & Co, as in, "John Podesta was a spirit cooking satrap of Soros' New World Order."

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    1. Yes he was. I don't know what he's doing for Soros now? Any thoughts on that?

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  8. This one IS getting serious now... And it's going to blow sooner rather than later!

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