North Korea’s Hydrogen Bomb Claim Strains Ties With China
BEIJING — For months, China’s leaders have worked to improve relations with North Korea, its loyal but unpredictable ally to the east. They dispatched a top official to the North for a military parade, rejected calls to isolate it with tough economic sanctions, and spoke glowingly of its leader.
But on Wednesday, Beijing’s hopes of keeping its neighbor in check appeared to diminish, as the North said it had completed a test of a hydrogen bomb about 50 miles from the Chinese border, the fourth nuclear weapon test in a decade.
Officials in Beijing were furious.
“China strongly opposes this act,” Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in unusually harsh remarks at a news conference on Wednesday. “China will firmly push for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
The decision to detonate a bomb suggested a serious falling-out in the relationship between North Korea and China. Chinese officials had agreed last fall to send a senior official to the parade in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang — the first such visit since Kim Jong-un, the current leader, took power in 2011 — partly on the condition that the North would refrain from nuclear tests, said Evans J. R. Revere, a former senior State Department specialist on the North.
Now, Chinese leaders are in a difficult position. They are under intense pressure to inflict harsh economic punishments on North Korea, but they worry that any resulting instability could seep back into their territory. They also face new questions about China’s efforts, over the past several months, to curry favor with Mr. Kim, whom many Chinese regard as a bizarre, bumbling figure.
China must also reckon with the prospect that actions by the North could galvanize countries like the United States, Japan and South Korea into strengthening military forces in the Pacific, just as China is seeking to assert its dominance in the region.
“This is precisely what China does not need,” said Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at Australian National University. “If there is one issue guaranteed to refocus U.S. strategic attention on Asia, it is a North Korean nuclear provocation, especially one purported to bring Pyongyang’s destructive capabilities to a whole new level.”
On Wednesday, Chinese officials sidestepped questions about whether they would level economic sanctions against North Korea, by paring shipments of oil, for instance, or food. China is North Korea’s largest economic ally, with trade between the two countries having totaled $6.4 billion in 2014.........(continua)
Un grande inizio d'anno, non c'e' che dire.
Non bastavano le decapitazioni saudite, la recrudescenza dei secolari odi tra shiiti e sunniti, il mondo mitragliato dagli episodi di terrorismo dei fondamentalisti islamici, i 30mila morti all'anno ammazzati negli States per armi da fuoco (ma cosa vuoi che siano?, dicono i repubblicani impegnati nel loro ridicolo show per le primarie del GOP).
Adesso ci si e' messo nuovamente di mezzo il dittatore della Corea del Nord. Il sisma pari a 5.1 della scala Mercalli registrato nel nord del paese proprio ai confini con la Cina non puo' essere preso sottogamba. Qui a Washington si e' sicuri che si tratta di un'esplosione nucleare anche se non si puo' ammettere ufficialmente.
E adesso che facciamo? (tutti quanti, a cominciare dalla Cina, Giappone, Corea del Sud e dall'America che puo' essere minacciata nella sua costa occidentale dalle follie dei nord coreani).