Hope On The North Korea Front?


This report is encouraging:

THE Chinese are openly debating “regime change” in Pyongyang after last week’s nuclear test by their confrontational neighbour.

Diplomats in Beijing said at the weekend that China and all the major US allies believed North Korea’s claim that it had detonated a nuclear device. US director of national intelligence John Negroponte circulated a report that radiation had been detected at a site not far from the Chinese border.

The US may have employed highly classified satellite technology to detect tiny leaks of gas or elements associated with nuclear detonation, according to a diplomatic source in the Chinese capital. This would explain Washington’s reluctance to explain the findings in public.

The Washington Times disclosed that US spy satellites photographed North Koreans playing volleyball just a few hundred metres from a test site tunnel after the underground explosion.

The Chinese Government has been ultra-cautious in its reaction. However, since Monday, Foreign Ministry officials have started to make a point of distinguishing between the North Korean people and their Government in conversations with diplomats.

Ahead of yesterday’s Security Council vote, some in Beijing argued against heavy sanctions on North Korea for fear that these would destroy what remains of a pro-Chinese “reformist” faction inside the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“In today’s DPRK Government, there are two factions, sinophile and royalist,” one Chinese analyst wrote online. “The objective of the sinophiles is reform, Chinese-style, and then to bring down Kim Jong-il’s royal family. That’s why Kim is against reform. He’s not stupid.”

More than one Chinese academic agreed that China yearned for an uprising similar to the one that swept away the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989 and replaced him with communist reformers and generals. The Chinese made an intense political study of the Romanian revolution and even questioned president Ion Iliescu, who took over, about how it was done and what roles were played by the KGB and by Russia.

Mr Kim, for his part, ordered North Korean leaders to watch videos of the swift and chaotic trial and execution of Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, the vice-prime minister, as a salutary exercise.

The balance of risk between reform and chaos dominated arguments within China’s ruling elite. The Chinese have also permitted an astonishing range of vituperative internet comment about an ally with which Beijing maintains a treaty of friendship and co-operation. Academic Wu Jianguo published an article in a Singapore newspaper – available online in China – bluntly saying: “I suggest China should make an end of Kim’s Government.”

“The Chinese have given up on Kim Jong-il,” commented one diplomat. “The question is, what are they going to do about it?”

Along with the news that China is building a wall at the border:

China has been building a massive barbed wire and concrete fence along parts of its border with
North Korea in the most visible sign of Beijing’s strained ties with its once-cozy communist neighbor.

Scores of soldiers have descended on farmland near the border-marking Yalu River to erect concrete barriers 8 to 15 feet tall and string barbed wire between them, farmers and visitors to the area said.

Last week, they reached Hushan, a collection of villages 12 miles inland from the border port of Dandong.

“About 100 People’s Liberation Army soldiers in camouflage started building the fence four days ago and finished it yesterday,” said a farmer, who only gave his surname, Ai. “I assume it was built to prevent smuggling and illegal crossing.”

Though the fence-building appears to have picked up in the days following North Korea’s claimed nuclear test last week, experts said the project was approved in 2003. Experts and a local Hushan official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the project, said the military was in charge of the building.

Plus this report today that China will now enforce that which they earlier said they would not in regards to the UN resolution:

China has said it will comply with a U.N. Security Council resolution mandating inspections of North Korean cargo to search for illegal weapons. But China’s U.N. ambassador ruled out further measures, including interdiction of cargo on the high seas.

Ambassador Wang Guangya confirmed China will comply with the Security Council’s call for inspections of cargo going into or out of North Korea.

Two days after the Council unanimously adopted a series of punishing sanctions on Pyongyang, word from the Chinese-North Korean border indicated inspections have begun.

But Ambassador Wang made clear that China, a permanent member of the Security Council, does not interpret those sanctions as requiring interception and interdiction of North Korean ships on the high seas.

“Inspections yes, but inspections are different from interception and interdiction,” said Wang Guangya. “I think, in that area, different countries would do it in different ways, but this is a Security Council resolution, under Chapter Seven, Article 41, and, therefore, the resolution has to be implemented.”

All in all its encouraging. While I do not trust the Chinese to do much, the very fact that all these steps are being taken along with the fact that they are allowing regime change speech to remain in the public eye lumped together with the fact that China has NEVER voted with the US against N.Korea in 50+ years should give us all some hope that yes indeed, they may actually act against Lil’ Kim and his crew.

Meanwhile we have the kooks on the left trying to make the public believe that N.Korea was not that bad before Bush came along:

Billionaire philanthropist George Soros on Monday pointed the finger at US President George W Bush for the North Korea crisis, saying his hard line had led to the communist state’s nuclear test.

Soros, a Hungarian-born US financier who has used his fortune to promote democracy and human rights worldwide, said he supported former South Korean president Kim Dae-Jung’s “sunshine” policy of trying to engage Pyongyang.

“I was a great supporter of Kim Dae-Jung’s sunshine policy. President Bush rejected that policy,” Soros told a news conference in Tokyo, where he is promoting one of his books.

Former US secretary of state “Colin Powell endorsed it but President Bush denounced it. That was the beginning of the current deterioration,” Soros said.

[…]”I think we need to be open,” Soros said.

“If North Korea returns to the negotiating table, to offer some inducements for it to abandon its nuclear programme and security guarantees would be appropriate and more effective in softening the regime than anything else,” he said.

Because we all know how well that other Presidents negotiations went right? Kim played him like a fiddle and pushed on to the bomb. I gather the motto of Soros is “if it doesn’t work once, try it again”…

And then in typical Kerry logic we get this: (via The Strata-Sphere)

This morning on Fox News Chris Wallace challenged Kerry about his claim that Bush let NK get the bomb. Wallace said experts say NK began cheating in 1997. Kerry let slip that ‘of course’ NK was cheating on the agreement, and that we knew (in 1997 that would be President Clinton as the ‘we’). Kerry then made the ridiculous claim that if we just let NK keep cheating on their commitments to NOT build a nuclear bomb, then they would not have built a nuclear bomb.

Get that? If we had just let them continue to cheat on the Agreed Framework and work towards building a nuke, then they wouldn’t have built the nuke.

Ooooook then.

Other’s Blogging: