North Korea’s irrationality is instigated by Beijing
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By VBN Ram
Issue Net Edition | Date : 04 Sep , 2017

North Korea’s brazen defiance of sanctions, yet again seen on Sept 3, 2017 – when it detonated its sixth nuclear device (claimed by it to be a thermo-nuclear weapon has tremendous devastating capability). As written in many of my previous articles, the only nation which can course-correct an idiosyncratic Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, is China. But sadly, even China, as has been reported in Global Times is unwilling to impose further sanctions and trade embargos, since it is of the view that crippling North Korea, will make it bereft of a useful ally, which can perennially be causing jitters to the US and allies.

The often asked question ‘when will Beijing rein in a belligerent Pyongyang?’ is a disingenuous one. China pretends to castigate the rouge North Korean regime, by supporting UN sanctions, whereas, in actuality – this regionally riled Kim Jong-un regime consistently unravels its strategic roadmap in consultation with China. What was Beijing’s reaction to the latest North Korean misadventure of launching an intermediate range ballistic missile overflying Japanese territorial space – the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said “the US and South Korea were to be blamed for North Korea’s missile strike since they were involved in joint military exercises in the Pacific Ocean.” Therefore, added Beijing’s Spokeswoman “North Korea will be made to obey the discipline mandated by international sanctions only in return for the immediate cessation of the US-South Korea joint exercises.”

The Chinese stance of endorsing and condoning North Korea’s violation of international mandates and its assertion that Pyongyang is well within its limits and legitimacy to continue its threats and misadventures in the Asia-Pacific region, is a clear indication of China encouraging, if not, instigating North Korea’s arrogant defiance of UN sanctions.

The aforesaid begs the following series of questions: Is China the only nation which has the right for conducting military exercises – ostensibly for self-defence in the Asia-Pacific? Do Japan and South Korea have no such rights? Does the US have no right to seek protective military measures against a North Korea, which now has acquired the capability of launching nuclear warhead loaded intercontinental missiles to strike the US.

More than 80 percent of North Korea’s imports come from China, which has always unequivocally claimed that none of its exports to North Korea constitute illegal products, whereas, there is evidence to confirm to the contrary. The Institute of Science and International Security Report revealed that Shenyang Machine Tools Company in north-east China sent banned products to North Korea as recently as 2015.1

China has used loopholes to skirt UN sanctions -North Korea has been building missiles with a little help from their Chinese neighbours.2

Pakistan-North Korea Nuclear & Missile Technology Links:

Right from the 1990’s Pakistan has been in active collaboration with North Korea as regards missile and nuclear technology. Pakistan was able to access the knowhow relating to North Korea’s Rodong long range missiles in return for nuclear technology, which Pakistan offered North Korea instead of cash.

The latest North Korean missiles have the distinctive design of biconic warhead which appears to be similar to a Pakistani design, or the warhead itself, suggesting Pakistan’s supply of the design. According to Rick Fisher a Senior Fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Centre Indian sources credit China as the source of the new Pakistani ABABEEL warhead multiple reentry vehicle technology and it is indeed plausible Pakistan sourced the above to North Korea.

That there is ample evidence to prove Chinese Involvement in North Korea’s Nuclear Missiles Programmes – from trucks to warheads3 is an open secret.

China has outsourced its strategic trouble making against adversaries to Pakistan in South Asia and North Korea in North Asia.

Has Pyongyang ever respected UN imposed sanctions? The answer is an unequivocal NO.

If history is any indicator to the US restraint against North Korea, its visible manifestation is seen even as early as 1950 when the US could easily have over-run North Korea, without any challenge, had it not been for President Truman. US at that time could have installed a US friendly puppet government in Pyongyang.

After North Korea’s invasion of South Korea in 1950, the United States called for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that passed Resolution no 84 of 1950 which stated “Republic of Korea (South Korea) has been invaded by North Korea and this invasion constitutes a breach of peace, hence the Council (UNSC) recommends that members of the UN furnish suitable assistance to a united command under the USA.”

Following the above mandate from the UNSC the combined forces led under the command of Gen Douglas MacArthur fought North Korea and the latter faced a humiliating defeat.

It was then that Gen MacArthur was convinced that North Korea can be brought to its knees but the Gen was dissuaded by President Truman from initiating any further action against the adversary. Had Gen MacArthur had his way more than six decades back history would have ensured that North Korea would have been adequately cut to size right there and then, and the US and its allies would never have had the nightmarish sleepless nights – uncertain when a missile from North Korea will strike any one of them.

At the time Gen MacArthur wanted to initiate military action against North Korea – he had concrete plans in place to enlist the cooperation of vast numbers of soldiers from Taiwan together with US troops, these forces would have inflicted a devastating defeat on North Korea. After the US attack on Inchon and the naval blockade of the Taiwan Straits by the US there was no chance of North Korea picking up the gauntlet, more particularly because China, the erstwhile Soviet Union, and the puppet regime in North Korea didn’t have a suitable counter strategy.

US must be lamenting now as to why it desisted to take adequate measures to take North Korea by the horns then, more specifically because its allies are forced out of their slumber because of alarm sirens being sounded in Japanese cities to warn against North Korea’s intermediate range missiles.


Pyongyang will come to the negotiating table and initiate a dialogue only on the following conditions:

•  US and allies acknowledge North Korea as a ‘nuclear power’

•  They give up ‘provocative’ activities such as military exercises, which Pyongyang believes are hostile to its interests, and

•  US forthwith stops any attempts for regime change in Pyongyang.

If Donald Trump’s latest pronouncements are to be taken seriously, it is unlikely the US will concede to any of those conditions. Even though officials such as Defence Secretary Mattis are counseling the US to find a diplomatic solution, which in essence involves the acceptance of North Korea as a ‘Nuclear State’.


  1. US Department of State on latest DRPK Provocation Press Statement : July 28, 2017
  2. Ryan Pickrell : The Daily Caller : April 13, 2017
  3. Chinese Involvement in North Korea’s Nuclear Missile Programme : By Anders Corr : Foreign Affairs Forbes July 5, 2017
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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author


Postgraduate in business management from XLRI Jamshedpur, is widely travelled and immensely interested in and concerned about contemporary geostrategic developments. He has been a China watcher and has researched extensively on Asia-Pacific affairs. He has also written on developments in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Maldives.

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2 thoughts on “North Korea’s irrationality is instigated by Beijing

  1. nice article thank you for this north korean is facing of some different irrationality against the beijing north korean should develop a lot

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