Recent information coming out of North Korea points to Kim Jong-un’s regime attempting to launch a satellite into space and is preparing for a fourth nuclear test after restarting all of its atomic plants. Associated Press reports that China could react angrily to its longtime ally’s actions and possibly shut-off aid and restrict trade between the two nations. China is overwhelmingly North Korea’s main trading partner by any measure and is increasingly nervous over Pyongyang’s aggressive actions.
“China will strongly oppose (a test or launch) and will be sure to implement future United Nations resolutions even more resolutely,” said Zhang Liangui, a North Korea expert with the ruling Communist Party’s main research and training institute in Beijing.
Relations have gone cold between the two communist dictatorships and China has punished the North by backing sanctions against the reclusive regime in the United Nations over the North’s nuclear activities. During recent military skirmishes between North and South Korea, China even posted additional military forces on its border with North Korea in a show of displeasure.
Although China wants to use its remaining leverage to restrict the North’s nuclear program, it is unlikely to completely cut off aid and bring down the regime as Kim Jong-un is valuable to China as a hedge against U.S. forces in the South and a resurgent Japan. The Chinese is also worried about economic and political refugees streaming across the border, a scenario all too fresh in their minds with the Syrian migrant crisis dominating global news for the last few weeks.
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