Want to make Kim Jong-Il soil himself?

Posted by: Phineas on November 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I can't trust anyone these days!

Just whisper in his ears the magic words, “China is willing to sell you out.” From the The Guardian:

China’s moves to distance itself from Kim are revealed in the latest tranche of leaked US embassy cables published by the Guardian and four international newspapers. Tonight, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said the US “deeply regrets” the release of the material by WikiLeaks. They were an “attack on the international community”, she said. “It puts people’s lives in danger, threatens our national security and undermines efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems,” she told reporters at the state department.

The leaked North Korea dispatches detail how:

  • South Korea’s vice-foreign minister said he was told by two named senior Chinese officials that they believed Korea should be reunified under Seoul’s control, and that this view was gaining ground with the leadership in Beijing.
  • China’s vice-foreign minister told US officials that Pyongyang was behaving like a “spoiled child” to get Washington’s attention in April 2009 by carrying out missile tests.
  • A Chinese ambassador warned that North Korean nuclear activity was “a threat to the whole world’s security”.
  • Chinese officials assessed that it could cope with an influx of 300,000 North Koreans in the event of serious instability, according to a representative of an international agency, but might need to use the military to seal the border.

In highly sensitive discussions in February this year, the-then South Korean vice-foreign minister, Chun Yung-woo, told a US ambassador, Kathleen Stephens, that younger generation Chinese Communist party leaders no longer regarded North Korea as a useful or reliable ally and would not risk renewed armed conflict on the peninsula, according to a secret cable to Washington.

China has also said that it would not intervene militarily in the event of a North Korean collapse, and that a unified Korea ruled from Seoul could remain a US ally as long as American troops did not cross north of the DMZ; China sees its interests in trade with the US, South Korea, and Japan, not in propping up an increasingly unstable client that doesn’t even serve anymore as a useful buffer.

That, my friends, is the core of a deal that would have cynical power-players like Metternich and Kissinger drooling with anticipation. The only reason North Korea survives is through the shipment of cheap fuel and food across the Yalu river border. If China were to decide that its interests were better served by a reunified and stable Korean trading partner, even if a US ally, then all it has to do is turn off the drip-feed and… Bye-bye bandit kingdom.

While Kim Jong Il is desperately trying to secure the succession for his son, Kim Jong Un, one can see this playing out like the East German collapse and German reunification in 1989-90: the old regime dies off, the new rulers haven’t the skill or will (or both) to maintain control of a failing state, and the regime collapses of exhaustion to be absorbed by its democratic cousin.

The question is what will Kim Jong Il and his military do. As the cables hint, they were probably the only ones among the concerned powers (the US, China, South Korea, and Japan) who had no inkling of China’s real feelings. Will this knowledge lead Kim to moderate his behavior or the military to remove him, so China doesn’t pull the plug? Will they keep pushing the limits under the assumption that China, in the end, won’t cut them loose? Or, as Allahpundit fears, will they decide to go out in a blaze of glory?

My own guess is that Kim will try to make nice with Beijing and not do anything more provocative than he already has and mollifying them with vague promises of reform, while continuing to secure the throne for his son. Then, when Dear Leader passes on, a transitional regime –with or without Kim Jong Un– will oversee an East German-style endgame.

At least, that’s what I hope. This still has every chance of blowing up in all our faces, mostly due to the unpredictability of those running the world’s largest prison camp masquerading as a state.

POSTSCRIPT: Regarding the Wikileaks release, I have three observations

  1. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange needs to meet a bad end, soon. He is harming my country in a time of war; he shouldn’t have gotten this far.
  2. The real fallout of these documents isn’t what they reveal (and much of that validates the Right’s views), but that we look like such idiots when it comes to security that few will be willing to talk confidentially with us for quite a long time.
  3. While the security weaknesses revealed in this scandal reach back at least several years, the response to the Wikileaks revelations has shown the Obama administration as weak and incompetent — and a danger to our national security.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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9 Responses to “Want to make Kim Jong-Il soil himself?”

Comments

  1. JRob says:

    What, no threat of sending in Hans Brix?

  2. Phineas says:

    Not after what that shark did to him. :d

  3. Robert says:

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant. I never thought I would hear calls for assassination over government transparency. I’ll bet a lot of people on the left want to assassinate Glenn Beck for the same kind of sunlight on government. MORE INFORMATION IS NEVER A BAD THING STUPID.

  4. Carlos says:

    First, to Robert, more information may be a good thing, but in this case (these cases) it most certainly is not. Get over the hate-America thing.

    Then, I personally think that, since these things were leaked anyway, it’s too bad some of Obama’s/Holder’s/Emmanuel’s thoughts on the average American were not included so that the world could see in print what the elitist-in-chief really feels about us pee-ons.

  5. Neo says:

    I’ll bet a lot of people on the left want to assassinate Glenn Beck for the same kind of sunlight on government.

    Just when I was beginning to think that Beck was just a bunch of hot air, I find out that it isn’t so.
    Robert, you have restored my faith in Beck. Thanks.

  6. Zilla says:

    Excellent observations, Sister. I have a little blog post today about how the events of the past few days showcase the warped priorities of the Obama administration if anyone is interested:

    http://politizilla.blogspot.com/2010/11/priorities.html

  7. bd says:

    1. how insensitive to ja’s feelings, but yes, a conspiratorial act of war demands an appropriate war-footing response. and of course, the private should be subject to the complete retinue of military justice.

    2. yes and more – like making high-risk loans – any “loan” will have to come with high interest and performance guarantees; anyone of us: would you cooperate with this outfit?

    3. danger, yes – i would bet this regime sees the probable loss of life and further eroding of anti-terror cooperation as nothing more than deserved co-lateral damage… weak and incompetent means they can’t execute a plan that protects, promotes America – i don’t believe that is their innate sense/intention (remember, the oath of office was taken on a bible, not a koran (yes, gratuitously mean))

  8. Old Goat says:

    Something to think about that I got from talking to some others about N. Korea…

    What would happen is a major attack from the north on Seoul, meaning a big blow to a very modern city that also houses a lot of American troops. Retaliation against them would happen, and probably, with the weapons the US has, it would be pretty much over quickly.

    With that, we would have millions of peasants from the north who don’t have any skills flooding into China and South Korea. That would be a huge burden for both countries, bringing both of them down.

    It might account for why there is talk of talks, and saber rattling, but it doesn’t seem like there would be much real action.

    Its a very messy problem, and China not backing them could cause things to go either way. My guess is that both the US and China are looking to put off a reunification of Korea for as long as possible.

  9. Fai Mao says:

    China loses in this situation even if they win a war.

    Here is how:
    1. South Korea has huge investments in China which would disappear
    2. Nobody in the rest of the world would buy Chinese goods for 25 years
    3. All or most PRC naval units would be sunk within 48 hours
    4. The US would immediately cancel payment on all the debt it owes China which would cause Chinese currency reserves to evaporate
    5. What if India were to decide with the PRC occupied up North that it was time to settle its border dispute with the PRC?
    6. What if China loses the war and Taiwan declairs independance?
    7. What happens if the mainly Islamic Western provinces decide they want their own 3rd world Muslim slum?

    I can well believe that the PRC higher up are concerned about this and don’t a war in KOrea at this time.

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