Incinerated Fantasy: Kim Jong-un, Zhu Feng, and a Censored Article in Beijing

By | February 09, 2013 | 3 Comments

KJU riding highIncinerated Fantasy:  Kim Jong-un, Zhu Feng, and a Censored Article in Beijing

On February 2, Peking University professor Zhu Feng put forward an op-ed that was ground-breaking in its criticism of the DPRK. Because the article was published first in Singapore and then subsequently in Beijing, we have a rare opportunity to see how Zhu’s hard-hitting message for Pyongyang was aggressively censored on the mainland, presumably by higher authorities, to scrub it clean of unacceptable messages.

Specifically, the Beijing version scuttled language about South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye’s willingness to negotiate, removed mention of Washington’s desire for regime change, excised all personal references to China’s leaders, gutted an entire paragraph about power struggles in Pyongyang, and removed mention of Kim Jong-un altogether, both his “inability to decide when to test” and the first Chinese criticism (to our knowledge) by a Chinese intellectual of the young Kim Jong-un as “a badass.” SinoNK has painstakingly compared the two versions for readers to get a rare glimpse of where exactly the rhetorical redline stands for the Party right now as we approach, presumably, a North Korean nuclear test, a test of China’s new leaders, and the year of the Water Snake. — Adam Cathcart and Roger Cavazos

Presented in two versions with afterword:

Version I: Uncensored, Unexpurgated original Lianhe Morning Post version translated from the Chinese by SinoNK.com

Version II: Text as Carried by Global Times on February 2, 2013 with changes (either by censors, Huanqiu Shibao editors, or some combination of both) translated from the Chinese and compared to the uncensored Lianhe Morning Post version by SinoNK.com

Afterword: Five short paragraphs of what we believe are important contextual elements to consider for future analysis.

Version I:   Zhu Feng, “Will North Korea Conduct a Third Nuclear Test?  [ 朝鲜第三次核试验会发生吗?]“ Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore [新加坡《联合早报》]February 2, 2013.

Following the United Nations Security Council’s passage of Resolution 2087 sanctioning North Korea for its satellite launch on January 25, the Pyongyang government quickly issued a vehement response. From the North Korean National Defense Commission’s official statement that it would conduct a nuclear test to Kim Jong-un’s speech saying the North will use “super-hardline national means” to exact revenge, it seems as if the “arrow” of the third North Korean nuclear test is already on the string [已犹如箭在弦上].

Professor Zhu Feng, frequent interlocutor on Sin-DPRk matters.  Image via 新军事 New Military Affairs net

Professor Zhu Feng, frequent interlocutor on Sin-DPRK matters. Image via 新军事 New Military Affairs net

Despite the international community’s profuse calls, daily criticism, stern warnings and painstaking efforts to persuade North Korea, it is feared none can stop the North’s resolute and solitary march. As soon as North Korea actually detonates the underground nuclear device in P’unggye Ri, the situation on the Korean Peninsula will immediately enter a new era of greater uncertainty and turmoil. The territorial disputes that have arisen in recent years, casting a hex on East Asian regional security, will also increasingly intensify.

From the perspective of North Korea’s present domestic and foreign predicament, the new nuclear test only hurts Pyongyang and serves no benefit [有百害而无一利]. First, if Pyongyang conducts the nuclear test, it will immediately land the incoming Park Geun-hye administration’s DPRK policy into an extremely awkward situation. President-elect Park Geun-hye has already promised to build a relationship of trust between the North and South and is willing to revive dialogue with North Korea as well as provide humanitarian assistance.

As soon as North Korea conducts the nuclear test, they will immediately forfeit Park Geun-hye’s goodwill and conversely force Park Geun-hye’s administration to continue the hardline policies against the North. Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s speech on January 1st proposed launching a “free dialogue” between the North and South, and it seemed that the South was also displaying a willingness to engage and negotiate in goodwill. However, now the North is publicly threatening to conduct a new nuclear test. This not only goes against the core of the young leader’s New Years speech, but more so, it “adds hail to snow” (i.e. makes an bad situation worse) by piling on to the already tense North-South relationship that resulted from the Cheonan incident and Yeonpyeong shelling in 2010.

North Korea’s new nuclear test will also make the Obama administration’s DPRK policy even more hardline as he starts his second term. One thing can be stated surely: the United States will forcefully push the UN Security Council to pass a new sanctions resolution, and the U.S. will strengthen the military preparedness and diplomatic pressure against North Korea’s provocative actions from within its alliance framework with Japan and South Korea. Although the Obama administration has verbally expressed a willingness to engage in dialogue with the DPRK, their perception of the threat posed by North Korea is already unprecedented and still rising.

North Korea seeks to use the nuclear test to force the United States to negotiate with it and by doing so gain an advantage, but [I] fear that this scenario may be as realistic as “1001 Arabian Nights” (i.e., a fantasy). The U.S. Department of State has already called for the international community to “be united as one” in response to the North’s threats of a nuclear test. The DPRK’s successful satellite launch last December and new nuclear test may very likely make the Obama administration abandon the “strategic patience” policy of its first term and conversely publicly seek regime change in North Korea.

North Korea’s nuclear test will also make the new Xi Jinping administration angry give China a headache. China’s Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao administration has always strenuously tried to convince Pyongyang to pay attention to the “people’s livelihood [民生],” and, more so, had used its resources to develop the DPRK economy by maintaining trade relations and providing the appropriate level of assistance to promote North Korea to study China’s experience and realize Reform and Opening. As for what kind of North Korea policy the new Xi Jinping-Li Keqiang administration will pursue when they take office in March, we can only wait and see, but at least China’s new administration hopes to see a stable Korean Peninsula and would be happy to see the North improve relations with the South and abandon its nuclear program with resolve. Secretary General of the CCP Xi Jinping’s statement to South Korean Special Envoy Kim Moo-sung when they met on January 23rd that (China) “could not tolerate North Korea possessing nuclear weapons” clearly states the new Chinese leadership’s stance (on the issue). Even the typically nationalistic Global Times published an editorial on January 25th demanding the Chinese government immediately reduce the level of assistance to North Korea to pressure the (self-perceived) infallible North Korea.

As soon as the North conducts a new nuclear test, this will force Beijing to adjust its DPRK policy, against its own wishes, and to also pursue cooperation with the United States and South Korea in the Security Council and agree to increase the strength of sanctions against North Korea. If North Korea continues to adopt these adversarial and provocative policies towards the outside world, the Xi Jinping-era Chinese government will emphasize a rational and pragmatic foreign policy that increasingly sees its own national interests in staunch terms, and, will surely have to slowly adjust and evolve (its policy). One nuclear test still will not make China’s new administration decide to “abandon North Korea,” but it will definitely worsen China-DPRK relations.

Despite the high costs the nuclear test will bring, Kim Jong-un’s political power is still the same old “do what I want” (style) [我行我素] and the DPRK still obstinately wants to conduct it. At the same time, North Korea announced it was withdrawing from the Six Party Talks and other bilateral talks over the North’s nuclear issue. The DPRK also publicly stated that it would only accept dialogue “regarding Northeast Asian regional security issues,” revealing a big adjustment in Pyongyang’s “nuclear diplomacy.” Building on the successful basis of the two previous nuclear tests and “satellite tests,” Pyongyang is emboldened and wants to create a (new) fact that it possesses a weapon of mass destruction, increase its nuclear deterrent, and thus force other states to reluctantly acknowledge North Korea as a new nuclear state.

At numerous times in the past, Kim Jong-il-era North Korea has announced its withdrawal from the Six Party Talks and no longer undertakes commitments to renounce nuclear weapons. But the Kim Jong-un-era North has never before dared to wholly refuse to discuss the illegality of its nuclear program. Yet not only have the North Koreans proclaimed that possessing nuclear weapons is one of Kim Jong-il’s three great legacies [金正日的三大遗产], but they also publicly amended their constitution last April to add in their status as a nuclear state. Satellite imagery reveals that North Korea began preparations for a new nuclear test last March at the third tunnel at P’unggye Ri.

丰溪里

Diagram of previous tests at Punggye Ri. Possibly the site where North Korea finally causes a rupture in Sino-DPRK relations. Graphic via QQ net.

North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test in 2012: One possibility is that it couldn’t find the right opportunity, but another is that Kim Jong-un it couldn’t decide whether to test. On February 24th [sic, January 24th], the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2087 adding new sanctions on North Korea and Pyongyang felt its opportunity had finally arrived. Thus, KCNA’s published protest not only denounced the United States but even, in a rare move, “secretly criticized” China. This all demonstrates that Pyongyang seems to have decided to gain a political resolution by breaking off international multilateral and bilateral discussion mechanisms regarding the North Korea nuclear issue.

As soon as Pyongyang conducts the third nuclear test, Kim Jong-un will officially unveil his adventurist foreign policy (外交冒险主义) of striving to gain status as a nuclear state. North Korea may have already prepared for facing the increased pressure of the international community and (subsequent) isolationist policies. This practice of increasing nuclear confrontation with the international community may be beneficial to Kim Jong-un’s legitimacy and domestic political control. At least this new round of confrontational crisis with the international community will be beneficial to cultivate Kim Jong-un’s personality cult within the North Korean military, governmental organization and Korean Workers Party and weaken the dissatisfaction brought by the series of political purges and economic difficulties. This intensified confrontation and crisis situation again enables Pyongyang to increase the cohesion of political power in North Korea and suppress possible internal dissatisfaction and even disorganization. From this perspective, the third nuclear test may enable North Korea to pay such an enormous diplomatic cost, but in the short-term the nuclear adventurism diplomacy and strong individual leadership internally will be mutually reinforcing (相互补充、相得益彰).

North Korea has many motivations for conducting a nuclear test (preceding phrase added by censors to better transition).  Regardless of which objective is driving North Korea to conduct the nuclear test, they all signify that the young leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, is indeed a badass. Kim Jong-un DPRK might be dreaming of an “India style” solution by dragging it out and waiting for change. In 1998, India and Pakistan’s nuclear competition also provoked international sanctions, but they just clenched their jaws and grinded it out since the international community always changes tracks in the end. Today, India’s possession of nuclear weapons has become accepted by other great powers.

However, North Korea isn’t India. Theoretically speaking, North Korea could cast itself unto (委身) the United States and be Japan’s lackey to contain China in order to earn the good graces of the major powers. North Korea has already done this in 2007 at the New York negotiations with the United States. However, the problem is that North Korea’s system is severely under the weather (底太潮) and even though North Korea wants to give them its heart (以身相许), the United States and Japan’s domestic politics make it difficult for them to find love with North Korea (寻欢). That is to say nothing of the fact that North Korea’s national power isn’t even remotely comparable to India’s, so when the North conducts its third nuclear test and pushes China towards the United States, how much longer will the DPRK be able to grind it out?

Kim Jong-un and Ri Sol-ju at a shooting range.  Image via Rodong Sinmun

The Swiss-educated Kim Jong-un and Ri Sol-ju, who has also travelled abroad,  at a shooting range. Image via Rodong Sinmun

One year ago, the international community held expectations and fanciful thoughts about the young Kim Jong-un: the North Korean leader, who studied abroad in Switzerland and has real experience in the Western world, might bring some hope to North Korea, this people and nation that has (suffered) such extensive sorrow. However, the two satellite launches in 2012 and this New Years that brought the North doggedly planning on conducting a third nuclear test completely incinerates the fantasies once held by the international community towards this new leader.

North Korea complains that the enmity its suffers, the rights North Korea should enjoy as a sovereign nation and the discrimination by other major powers compel the North to obtain national security through strengthening its nuclear deterrence. However, Kim Jong-un is currently playing the card of nuclear adventurism; at best it’s merely for the security of the Kim dynasty and not really for the security of the North Korean state and its people.

North Korea, which doesn’t want to change its foreign or domestic policy nor actions or intentions, exists in an already dramatically changed East Asian political and geopolitical environment but dreams of continuing unchanged its military-first and juche policies. I am truly doubtful that Kim Jong-un has (good) enough judgment to rule a country. At this very moment, all North Korea can do is abandon this nuclear test to act in the nick of time. Otherwise, they will fulfill the famous saying of the ancient Greek tragedy playwright Euripides: “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.” Only this madness North Korea is embracing by conducting the nuclear test may not be its final (act of) madness. The future way out of the scenario on the Korean Peninsula tests the political wisdom of every country in Northeast Asia.

North Korea driving US and China to play from the same sheet of music?  The U.S. Army band and the PLA band in concert together.  Photo via Xinhua

North Korea driving US and China to play from the same sheet of music? The U.S. Army band and the PLA band in concert together. Photo via Xinhua

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Version II:  Zhu Feng: “If North Korea Conducts a Nuclear Test Will That Push China Toward the US?” [朱锋:朝鲜若核试,会把中国推向美国么?] Global Times Opinion, [环球评论], February 2, 2013

Part II: Text as Carried by Global Times on February 2, 2013 with changes (either by censors, Huanqiu Shibao editors, or some combination of both) translated from the Chinese and compared to the uncensored Lianhe Morning Post version by SinoNK.com

Following the United Nations Security Council’s passage of Resolution 2087 sanctioning North Korea for its satellite launch on January 25, the Pyongyang government quickly issued a vehement response. From the North Korean National Defense Commission’s official statement that it would conduct a nuclear test to Kim Jong-un’s speech saying the North will use “super-hardline national means” to exact revenge, it seems as if the “arrow” of the third North Korean nuclear test is already on the string [已犹如箭在弦上].

Despite the international community’s profuse calls, daily criticism, stern warnings and painstaking efforts to persuade North Korea, it is feared none can stop the North’s resolute and solitary march. As soon as North Korea actually detonates the underground nuclear device in P’unggye Ri, the situation on the Korean Peninsula will immediately enter a new era of greater uncertainty and turmoil. The territorial disputes that have arisen in recent years, casting a hex on East Asian regional security, will also increasingly intensify.

From the perspective of North Korea’s present domestic and foreign predicament, the new nuclear test only hurts Pyongyang and serves no benefit [有百害而无一利]. First, if Pyongyang conducts the nuclear test, it will immediately land the incoming Park Geun-hye administration’s DPRK policy into an extremely awkward situation. President-elect Park Geun-hye has already promised to build a relationship of trust between the North and South and is willing to revive dialogue with North Korea as well as provide humanitarian assistance.

As soon as North Korea conducts the nuclear test, they will immediately forfeit Park Geun-hye’s goodwill and conversely force Park Geun-hye’s administration to continue the hardline policies against the North. Kim Jong-un’s New Years speech on January 1st proposed launching a “free dialogue” between the North and South, and it seemed that the South was also displaying a willingness to engage and negotiate in goodwill. However, now the North is publicly threatening to conduct a new nuclear test. This not only goes against the core of the young leader’s New Years speech, but more so, it “adds hail to snow” (i.e. makes an bad situation worse) by piling on to the already tense North-South relationship that resulted from the Cheonan incident and Yeonpyeong shelling in 2010.

North Korea’s new nuclear test will also make the Obama administration’s DPRK policy even more hardline as he starts his second term. One thing can be stated surely: the United States will forcefully push the UN Security Council to pass a new sanctions resolution, and the U.S. will strengthen the military preparedness and diplomatic pressure against North Korea’s provocative actions from within its alliance framework with Japan and South Korea. Although the Obama administration has verbally expressed a willingness to engage in dialogue with the DPRK, their perception of the threat posed by North Korea is already unprecedented and still rising.

North Korea seeks to use the nuclear test to force the United States to negotiate with it and by doing so gain an advantage, but [I] fear that this scenario may be as realistic as “1001 Arabian Nights” (i.e., a fantasy). The U.S. Department of State has already called for the international community to “be united as one” in response to the North’s threats of a nuclear test. The DPRK’s successful satellite launch last December and new nuclear test may very likely make the Obama administration abandon the “strategic patience” policy of its first term and conversely publicly seek regime change in North Korea.

North Korea’s nuclear test will also make the new Xi Jinping administration angry give China a headache. China’s Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao administration has always strenuously tried to convince Pyongyang to pay attention to the “people’s livelihood [民生],” and, more so, had used its resources to develop the DPRK economy by maintaining trade relations and providing the appropriate level of assistance to promote North Korea to study China’s experience and realize Reform and Opening. As for what kind of North Korea policy the new Xi Jinping-Li Keqiang administration will pursue when they take office in March, we can only wait and see, but at least China’s new administration hopes to see a stable Korean Peninsula and would be happy to see the North improve relations with the South and abandon its nuclear program with resolve. Secretary General of the CCP Xi Jinping’s statement to South Korean Special Envoy Kim Moo-sung when they met on January 23rd that (China) “could not tolerate North Korea possessing nuclear weapons” clearly states the new Chinese leadership’s stance (on the issue). Even the typically nationalistic Global Times published an editorial on January 25th demanding the Chinese government immediately reduce the level of assistance to North Korea to pressure the (self-perceived) infallible North Korea.

As soon as the North conducts a new nuclear test, this will force Beijing to adjust its DPRK policy, against its own wishes, and to also pursue cooperation with the United States and South Korea in the Security Council and agree to increase the strength of sanctions against North Korea. If North Korea continues to adopt these adversarial and provocative policies towards the outside world, the Xi Jinping-era Chinese government will emphasize a rational and pragmatic foreign policy that increasingly sees its own national interests in staunch terms, and, will surely have to slowly adjust and evolve (its policy). One nuclear test still will not make China’s new administration decide to “abandon North Korea, but it will definitely worsen China-DPRK relations.

Despite the high costs the nuclear test will bring, Kim Jong-un’s political power is still the same old “do what I want” (style) [我行我素] and the DPRK still obstinately wants to conduct it. At the same time, North Korea announced it was withdrawing from the Six Party Talks and other bilateral talks over the North’s nuclear issue. The DPRK also publicly stated that it would only accept dialogue “regarding Northeast Asian regional security issues,” revealing a big adjustment in Pyongyang’s “nuclear diplomacy.” Building on the successful basis of the two previous nuclear tests and “satellite tests,” Pyongyang is emboldened and wants to create a (new) fact that it possesses a weapon of mass destruction, increase its nuclear deterrent, and thus force other states to reluctantly acknowledge North Korea as a new nuclear state.

At numerous times in the past, Kim Jong-il-era North Korea has announced its withdrawal from the Six Party Talks and no longer undertakes commitments to renounce nuclear weapons. But the Kim Jong-un-era North has never before dared to wholly refuse to discuss the illegality of its nuclear program. Yet not only have the North Koreans proclaimed that possessing nuclear weapons is one of Kim Jong-il’s three great legacies [金正日的三大遗产], but they also publicly amended their constitution last April to add in their status as a nuclear state. Satellite imagery reveals that North Korea began preparations for a new nuclear test last March at the third tunnel at P’unggye Ri.

North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test in 2012: One possibility is that it couldn’t find the right opportunity, but another is that Kim Jong-un it couldn’t decide whether to test. On February 24th [sic, January 24th], the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2087 adding new sanctions on North Korea and Pyongyang felt its opportunity had finally arrived. Thus, KCNA’s published protest not only denounced the United States but even, in a rare move, “secretly criticized” China. This all demonstrates that Pyongyang seems to have decided to gain a political resolution by breaking off international multilateral and bilateral discussion mechanisms regarding the North Korea nuclear issue.

As soon as Pyongyang conducts the third nuclear test, Kim Jong-un will officially unveil his adventurist foreign policy (外交冒) of striving to gain status as a nuclear state. North Korea may have already prepared for facing the increased pressure of the international community and (subsequent) isolationist policies. This practice of increasing nuclear confrontation with the international community may be beneficial to Kim Jong-un’s legitimacy and domestic political control. At least this new round of confrontational crisis with the international community will be beneficial to cultivate Kim Jong-un’s personality cult within the North Korean military, governmental organization and Korean Workers Party and weaken the dissatisfaction brought by the series of political purges and economic difficulties. This intensified confrontation and crisis situation again enables Pyongyang to increase the cohesion of political power in North Korea and suppress possible internal dissatisfaction and even disorganization. From this perspective, the third nuclear test may enable North Korea to pay such an enormous diplomatic cost, but in the short-term the nuclear adventurism diplomacy and strong individual leadership internally will be mutually reinforcing (相互充、相得益彰).

North Korea has many motivations for conducting a nuclear test (preceding phrase added by censors to better transition).  Regardless of which objective is driving North Korea to conduct the nuclear test, they all signify that the young leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, is indeed a badass. Kim Jong-un DPRK might be dreaming of an “India style” solution by dragging it out and waiting for change. In 1998, India and Pakistan’s nuclear competition also provoked international sanctions, but they just clenched their jaws and grinded it out since the international community always changes tracks in the end. Today, India’s possession of nuclear weapons has become accepted by other great powers.

However, North Korea isn’t India. Theoretically speaking, North Korea could cast itself unto (委身) the United States and be Japan’s lackey to contain China in order to earn the good graces of the major powers. North Korea has already done this in 2007 at the New York negotiations with the United States. However, the problem is that North Korea’s system is severely under the weather (底太潮) and even though North Korea wants to give them its heart (以身相), the United States and Japan’s domestic politics make it difficult for them to find love with North Korea (寻欢). That is to say nothing of the fact that North Korea’s national power isn’t even remotely comparable to India’s, so when the North conducts its third nuclear test and pushes China towards the United States, how much longer will the DPRK be able to grind it out?

One year ago, the international community held expectations and fanciful thoughts about the young Kim Jong-un: the North Korean leader, who studied abroad in Switzerland and has real experience in the Western world, might bring some hope to North Korea, this people and nation that has (suffered) such extensive sorrow. However, the two satellite launches in 2012 and this New Years that brought the North doggedly planning on conducting a third nuclear test completely incinerates the fantasies once held by the international community towards this new leader.

North Korea complains that the enmity its suffers, the rights North Korea should enjoy as a sovereign nation and the discrimination by other major powers compel the North to obtain national security through strengthening its nuclear deterrence. However, Kim Jong-un is currently playing the card of nuclear adventurism; at best it’s merely for the security of the Kim dynasty and not really for the security of the North Korean state and its people.

North Korea, which doesn’t want to change its foreign or domestic policy nor actions or intentions, exists in an already dramatically changed East Asian political and geopolitical environment but dreams of continuing unchanged its military-first and juche policies. I am truly doubtful that Kim Jong-un has (good) enough judgment to rule a country. At this very moment, all North Korea can do is abandon this nuclear test to act in the nick of time. Otherwise, they will fulfill the famous saying of the ancient Greek tragedy playwright Euripides: Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.” Only this madness North Korea is embracing by conducting the nuclear test may not be its final (act of) madness. The future way out of the scenario on the Korean Peninsula tests the political wisdom of every country in Northeast Asia.

The author is a professor at the School of International Studies at Peking University.

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Afterword 

Critical Chinese media coverage of North Korea’s recent nuclear fury has kindled hope among Northeast Asia-watchers that China was finally “normalizing” how it talked publicly about its problematic ally. CFR’s Scott Snyder was hardly alone in citing the January 25th Global Times editorial, and stronger comments made since, as evidence that Beijing might be changing its tune. 

Zhu Feng’s article, and its journey from Singapore to China, shows that definite and palpable limits exist for Chinese-language writing about North Korea. Zhu Feng’s exasperation with the DPRK, and with Kim Jong-un, is made manifestly clear in the wide-ranging critique published in Singapore. Later in the day, the op-ed was picked up by Huanqiu Shibao (apparently illegally, since Lianhe has a paywall). 

Surely North Koreans are among the most twingy and petulant readers of the Beijing press, but Zhu Feng’s acid pen and the content of the censored critiques tells us more than simply that Chinese mainland media is walking on (uranium) eggshells when it comes to the DPRK.

Given that Zhu is seen as a conduit to internal foreign policy debates, and because he had been extremely voluble on the North Korea conference and television commentary circuit in the week prior, the op-ed could be considered a rather important one. His choice to initially publish the op-ed in Singapore could either indicate he understood how sensitive his message was or that he wanted it to be noticed by high-level officials by going directly to a influential newspaper. A subsequent interview by Jin Canrong confirming two camps indicates that Zhu’s vigorous prose is likely a product of a larger campaign to solidify the future direction of China’s DPRK policy.  It is also noteworthy that these campaigns are being waged outside the Great Firewall.

Who wins the battle will set the broader environment for Economic Asia and Security Asia for at least the next 10 years.

3 Comments

  1. While I agree with Prof. Zhu’s analysis that a nuclear test at this time is not wise,
    his writing seems quite misleading in many points.

    1) It is not NKorea that is driving China and US together, but the US which
    is trying to split China from NKorea. Whenever China joins US in UN sanctions
    against NKorea, US succeeds so much in its scheme. China is foolish to join
    the unjust sanctions.

    2) It is not NKorea that is provoking the int. community; on the contrary, it is
    the US which is continously provoking NKorea into rage. China must see this
    and exercise its veto vigorously.

    3) NKorea is still in a state of war with the US. China should never forget this fact.
    Unfortunately, Zhu never mentioned this in his article. It is apparent he was probably born after 1953 Armistice.

    4) China is also to be blamed for the current state of tensions in Korea.
    When China normalized its relation with SKorea in 1991 (or 1992), China
    should also persuaded US to normalize its relations with NKorea. But it did not.
    China always plays an opportunistic game.

  2. Hi NewageMan – thank you for your input and sharing your views. I think we can all agree that now is no time for testing. BTW, you had the normalization timeline correct when you mentioned 1992.

    I’m interested in your assertion that US-DPRK should have normalized relations when ROK and China normalized. How would you see that normalization working? Treaty, armistice, some other document.

  3. Hi Roger,

    A peace treaty would be ideal.

    But if this is too difficult, then both sides
    could agree to a declaration on ending the Korean War with two heads of state
    holding a summit. US probably have to agree to a reduction of its troops in SK,
    ending its joint war games with ROK, lifting sanctions, no more targeting of N weapons against NK, establish diplomatic relations, etc.

    My 2 cents!

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