August 26, 2003

I MENTIONED A WHILE BACK that North Korea was probably realizing that it couldn’t expect the Chinese to bail it out of any trouble it got itself into. And here’s a story from the Korea Times that seems to support that:

A Chinese scholar who is also a key Communist Party member in Shanghai, has said Chinese President Hu Jintao through his top envoy informed North Korean leader Kim Jong-il of a possible United States invasion.

Shen Dingli, professor at Hudan University in Shanghai and who was visiting Korea for an international seminar, was quoted by sources as saying that Hu¡’s message was very clear about the possibility of U.S. military action against the communist country that is defying international calls to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Attending a workshop held on the sideline of the 12th Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations last week, the Chinese expert on international relations said, “Hu told Kim, `If you make a problem, the U.S. will attack you. Don’t expect any help from us.”

He said that words of advice by the leader of Pyongyang¡’s only ally apparently scared the North Korean leader into accommodating Beijing¡’s suggestion that Pyongyang should engage in talks with the U.S. under whatever format.

Interesting. And encouraging.