North Korea the Puppet, China the Puppetmaster?

For two generations of Sungs and Ils, the North Korean dictators’ club has been alternately propped-up, and reigned in by their much larger relation, China. Support for the little pit of communist decline has come from very few friends. To assume that decades of tradition between the two countries has somehow changed would be to assume that Kim Jung Un is smarter, more politically adept and experienced than his predecessors.

The North is shouting its biggest threats yet, and seems willing to back them up somehow. It appears they are perfectly willing to push the game into a corner where they will have to choose between having their bluff called, or creating some fantastic way of backing down while saving face.

What does China think about this? On their border is a small uptight country with at least minimal nuclear capability. Can China really allow an unstable neighboring government to provoke like this without some input into the decisions? Can the Chinese leadership take the risk of major military action so near?

I get the feeling that the Chinese have more say in this whole mess than they let on. The inertia of decades of public and private political input into the minds of NK leaders would appear to be too great to reject. We don’t see strong language directed at the North Koreans, or any real resistance. We also don’t see the NKs lashing out at their big brother. Perhaps the Chinese are playing the NKs against the Western Powers as a test.

What could they be testing?

  • Our…
  • willingness to respond to a nuclear threat
  • ability to set defensive pieces on the board
  • military’s anti-missile capability
  • our level of success in managing world opinion since the sand box wars
  • overall political stance and strength with new cabinet members

Having North Korea serve as an unlikely proxy in a battle of nerves and technology allows the Chinese to better understand what we might do regarding an invasion of Taiwan or the forceful establishment of a new “Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere”. From behind the scnese, they get to push and prod until they have discovered what they set out to find.

This whole mess /charade /test lets us here in the US also get a peek at the inner workings of our leadership. Study well.

 

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