North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un may be staring at the abyss about now. Not only is the full brunt of the U.S. military bearing down on his isolated country, but so are his Chinese allies. The situation is looking grim and the world has grown weary of his nuclear antics.
Not only has China placed a hold on all North Korean coal shipments, but the Wall Street Journal reports that all flights on China’s flagship carrier China Airlines between Beijing and the North Korean capital of Pyongyang have been temporarily suspended. The man-child dictator faces complete economic ruin.
As Kim’s high noon approaches, Air China said that notice of the flight suspensions was issued Friday and that flights between the two cities probably wouldn’t resume before the end of May. Could this be a prelude to a coup, military strike or outright invasion?
Perhaps only the Chinese know the real truth. Regular flights between Beijing and Pyongyang began in 2008 and typically occur three times per week, though flights have been cancelled previously for various reasons. But this time it appears the war drums are beating hard.
Furthermore, Air China is the only Chinese carrier to service direct flights between the mainland and the peninsula, North Korea’s state-run Air Koryo operates direct flights to several Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang and the border city of Dandong. Not any more and maybe not again until Kim is either dead or imprisoned.
For now, the Chinese are blaming the cancellation on “poor ticket sales.” But the reality of the situation may be the new President of the United States who has told his Chinese counterparts to stay clear of North Korea for the time being.
It may just be the “whenever ticket sales improve” happens after the U.S. has settled matters on the peninsula. The Chinese are worried that KJU’s regime and his own days are ticking down quickly. There are increasing fears that a military confrontation is on the verge of occurring. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi publicly cautioned that war could break out on the Korean peninsula “at any moment.”
Defense secretary Mattis himself has said that North Korea must change its behavior, with an implied “or else” indicated by the U.S. military buildup in the region. Should the North Koreans fire off another missile this weekend during the celebration of Kim’s late father’s 105th birthday, all bets are off.
Whether it be the U.S. or China, it seems certain there will be a response of some kind. Both countries have strategic assets in the region to protect.