BRANDON J. WEICHERT | AMERICAN GREATNESS
In the aftermath of the assassination of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, and the brutal murder of several highly placed North Korean leaders, Kim Jong-un has signaled to his Chinese benefactors that he cares little for their opinion. You see, these people were associated with China. In fact, it was assumed that Kim Jong-nam was a potential replacement for the increasingly unstable Kim Jong-un. These developments come on the heels of a series of North Korean missile tests indicating that the North is intent on developing their long-range capabilities.
It is believed that within the next two years North Korea will have the requisite knowledge to launch missiles at the United States’ Pacific coastline. Under such conditions, the United States and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) are poised to conduct another round of their joint military drills. These drills are an annual exercise that tests the interoperability of American and South Korean forces in wartime conditions. Historically, these drills send the North Koreans into an unbridled rage.
In this morass, finally, the Chinese have stepped forward. They have offered to broker a deal whereby the United States and South Korea will not conduct the annual military exercises in exchange for China getting North Korea to abandon pursuit of its nuclear weapons. While it is clear that Kim Jong-un’s mania has finally caused China’s spine to stiffen, there is little doubt that this proposal is also the result of increasing uncertainty as to how the new Trump Administration will react to North Korea’s repeated provocations.
We should all be glad that China has at last decided to take its promise to rein in North Korea more seriously. Unfortunately for China, however, they ought to have been more solicitous of this promise sooner; at least a decade ago. Now, Chinese calls for a deal ring hollow. Where were they when the George W. Bush Administration allowed for the Six-Party Talks to spearhead the resolution of the North Korean nuclear situation? Where were the Chinese when the Kim Regime successfully tested a rudimentary nuclear weapon? Oh, that’s right: the Chinese were bankrolling the mad regime!
Are the Chinese really getting tougher on North Korea?
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Brandon J. Weichert is the founder of The Weichert Report: An Online Journal of Geopolitics, and is also a political contributor over at American Greatness. He is a former Republican congressional staffer. Brandon holds a Master of Arts degree in Statecraft & National Security Affairs from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. He is also an Associate Member of New College at Oxford University and has a B.A. in Political Science from DePaul University. Brandon is a frequent media guest discussing national security affairs. He also has a book on national security space policy coming out soon.