North Korea’s Nuclear Test of China

Korea Chair Platform

The most recent North Korean nuclear detonation is as much a test of China’s foreign policy as it was of the DPRK’s ability to induce atomic fission. It exposes outdated assumptions and policies, and the pernicious effects of China’s mushrooming foreign trade and investment in North Korea. Beijing’s relations with Pyongyang are guided by the International Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, which still thinks of the 1950 conflict as “the war to resist America and aid Korea.” The policy that China and North Korea should be as close as “lips and teeth” is a relic of the Cold War. The notion that North Korea could or should somehow act as a “buffer state” in an era of air power and massive Chinese trade with the South is equally archaic.

William Tobey