Kim Jong Il was a strange man, who preferred to grandstand than feed his people. He taught his son to emulate his own antics. One thing they did really well is to wind up the west, like a clockwork toy.
Kim Jong Un, following almost exactly in his father’s footsteps is too young to realize that his power comes not from himself, but from China.
This week, after supporting North Korean antics for far too long, China declared it has had enough. It has clearly been a case of the tail wagging the dog, and Chinese leaders decided they were tired of allowing a young buffoon to drive their foreign policy. They have their own problems to manage, without having to worry about a crazy lunatic in Pyongyang.
In a public announcement, China declared a “red line” on North Korea. “The Korean peninsula is right on China’s doorstep. We have a red line, that is, we will not allow war or instability on the Korean peninsula,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during China’s meeting of their parliament.
It remains to be seen how China handles it’s self-declared red line, compared with how Barack Obama handled hid Syrian red lines. It will be interesting to see how North Korea reacts to the Chinese red line.
In a pointed message to Kim Jong Un and the rest of the world, Wang Yi indicated that China will not permit chaos or war on the Korean peninsula. He said that peace can only come through denuclearization.
Not only does North Korea have nuclear weapons, but they have been exporting the technology and know-how to others. What is the chance they will stop proliferating the technology?
China is North Korea’s main diplomatic and economic supporter, but their patience finally reached breaking point. China knows it is being used by North Korea and it is time to stop. The North Korean farce was only making China look weak and stupid.
Pyongyang has conducted three nuclear tests and there have been numerous diplomatic skirmishes with the West.
China’s Foreign ministeR, Wang Yi, said North Korea must “exercise restraint” because a “genuine and lasting peace” on the peninsula was only possible with denuclearization.
For many years, China has been condemned for not reining in their loose cannon neighbor, especially after Pyongyang’s third nuclear test in February last year.
Wang Yi called for a resumption of talks between North Korea, South Korea, the United States, Japan, Russia and China.
“Confrontation can only bring tension, and war can only cause disaster,” Wang said. “Some dialogue is better than none, and better early than later.”
Let’s hope that China’s new leaders can help to change the ridiculous belligerence of North Korea.