‘China responsibility theory’ on NK has to stop
North Korea reportedly launched a new missile on Friday night. South Korea claimed that the missile traveled about 1,000 kilometers and reached an altitude of about 3,700 kilometers. The Pentagon believes it was an intercontinental ballistic missile.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Saturday convened a National Security Council meeting and ordered the deployment of four more THAAD anti-missile defense units.
It is expected that the US and South Korea will require the UN Security Council to impose tougher sanctions on Pyongyang. The administration of Donald Trump will exert more pressure on China to help solve the nuclear missile issue and even carry out more radical actions to sanction Chinese companies.
The North Korean nuclear issue is becoming more severe and complex. North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities directly pose a risk to China, and THAAD, a US strategic asset, also poses new threats to China’s national security. SinoUS and Sino-South Korean relations have been beleaguered by the nuclear issue. The situation may continue to spiral out of control.
Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul have no idea what will happen next. North Korea blindly believes that as long as it has intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach US soil, it can master its own destiny. The US believes suppression is the only way to propel Pyongyang to give up its nuclear missiles.
Both North Korea and the US are holding a firm stance, rendering China’s choices limited. China is not able to stop North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities. Nor can it change the US policy of suppression and prevent the US and South Korea from deploying THAAD.
But meanwhile, China will not give up its goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. As China fully implements UN Security Council resolutions, it should consider its national interests as a priority and build up its deterrence.
The top priority for China is that North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities or any resulting military actions by the US or South Korea should not contaminate China’s northeast. This is the bottom line of China’s peninsula policy and China should make it clear to all sides.
China will never ever accept the US deployment of THAAD in South Korea. China will counter any military deployment by the US that would threaten China. China should accelerate developing its strategic nuclear strike capabilities. If THAAD could prompt the upgrade of China’s strategic nuclear capabilities, China will be the biggest winner in this game.
China opposes wars or chaos in the Korean Peninsula, but a verbal objection is not enough. China must show its determination to oppose the changes of the political landscape in the Korean Peninsula.
The theory of China being responsible for North Korea’s nuclear issue is prevailing. Some Chinese intellectuals mistakenly believe that China is able to change North Korea’s behavior, which helped spread such absurdity.
Chinese society should reach a consensus on the North Korean nuclear issue so as to better cope with the complicated situation. The authorities should guide this process, as the US and South Korean opinion has been exerting its own logic on the issue.