To China, North Korea is a worrisome nuisance — but also a convenient thorn in our side. While the Norks keep us busy up here, China can poke around down there, around Taiwan. But the balance might be changing, at least if this WSJ report is accurate:
hina has made a public show over the past two weeks of urging all sides to show restraint, but to Washington’s chagrin has refused to blame North Korea for the sinking of a South Korean ship in March or the Nov. 23 artillery attack that killed four people on a South Korean island in the Yellow Sea.
In a departure from the sharp tone Washington has taken lately toward China, U.S. officials credited Beijing with playing a central role in helping convince the North not to retaliate—as it had earlier suggested it would—to an artillery exercise South Korea held near the island Monday.
A senior Obama administration official portrayed China as increasingly frustrated with the North’s actions, which also included its disclosure in November of a new uranium-enrichment facility, and said China’s “view has been changed about the need to act” by the “sheer outrageousness” of the North’s moves.
As I’ve argued for a while now, the best end to North Korea’s succession crisis might be PLA paratroopers descending on Pyongyang to deliver the coup de grace to this unstable and evil regime.