If the US bet on China’s abandoning its neighour and ally North Korea, it reveals that Mr. Obama is a sorry gambler. In less than a year, Kim Jong il has visited China.
Pundits also have given odds that the ‘Dear Leader’ was on his last legs, and his visits to People’s China were more than in part to pave the way for his heir and successor, his third son Kim Jong eun. Has anyone looked at the latest photos of Kim Jong il? Compare them to the photograph of him sitting next to Bill Clinton in July 2009? At the time of the former US president’s visit, Kim was a shadow of hisformer self: thin and emaciated looking. Today, in China, he looksmore and more like his oldself: corpulentand fleshed out.Surely, it is a sign of health regained, and an indication that as ever he is in firm control of the NorthKorean ship of state. [In consequence, Kim Jong eun will have more time to hone his education and gain experience in the craft of statemanship.]
The the failed diplomacy of George W. Bush to use China as a foil to tame a maverick North Korea, China, though obliging, has backed away from doing America’s will. And surely more so today when Obama has hitched America’s policy towards the North firmly to South Korea’s Lee Myung bak war train. The identity of view on North Korea by these two countries aim at ‘rolling back’ Kim Jong il. In plain English, in pushing North Korea to the edge of collapse on one hand, and using China to engage in regime change. China demurred.
With Kim again in China, it is clear, if it wasn’t before to Washington and Seoul China has stayed true to a policy Mao initiated when he sent volunteers to fight with North Koreans against US led UN troops as they raced to the Chinese borders. GuamDiary has long suggested to its readers that it look for Allen Whiting’s Rand study ‘China crosses the Yalu‘, for a good understanding of why China intervened in the Korean War. Beijing wanted a buffer against an aggressive South Korea and its US protector. Bush junior and Obama have revived old fears of a hostile unified Korea under the South on its borders. A sad commentary of the US North Korea clerisy grasp of history since they too are looking to destroy the North by any means necessary. And if they didn’t get the message, the South’s shelling of North Korea’s territorial waters revived fears of reopening the frozen Korean war.
China is sending a clear message: hands off North Korea in part. On the other hand, China is striking out on an independent Asian policy of its own in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran which can only anger Obama & co. If blame be apportioned, much of it falls on America’s shoulders.
Kim Jong il has regained his health; has the assurances of a powerful neighbour of a protective border and aid, and embodies the lasting power of North Korea founded by his father Kim Il Sung.