Written by Gregory J. Moore.
China and the United States have much in common as they look at the regime in North Korea. They agree North Korea should not have nuclear weapons. North Korea is a very unpredictable, ‘naughty’ regime, and neither state trusts Pyongyang to keep its word. North Korea has a history of assassinations, terrorist attacks, blackmail and war initiation that make it a very bad candidate for nuclear weapons. While Beijing doesn’t like to say it openly, Chinese leaders understand this. North Korea is also a proliferation threat. Its history of deals selling and transferring nuclear facilities, material and/or know-how to Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Pakistan make this clear. It was only the Israeli air force which prevented Pyongyang from finishing the nuclear reactor it had been building for Syria in 2007. Moreover, North Korean nuclear weapons could spark an arms race in Northeast Asia. In fact, they already have, as the installation of the US THAAD system in South Korea and Japan’s turn toward a stronger military since the first North Korean missile over Japan in 1998 demonstrate. This could be only the beginning if Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons become fully operational. Continue reading “Reining In Pyongyang’s Nuclear Ambitions: Washington and Beijing’s Common Interests”