China has two pressure points it can use to influence North Korean behavior. They are oil and convertible currency. China supplies those key services, without those North Korea becomes really ungovernable. But China doesn’t want a failed state on its borders. Here is his “take” on the current situation.
Former Australian Prime Minister who ran for Secretary General of UN and speaks fluent Chinese talks China/North Korea relationship
Also former Australian Foreign Minister. Just saying.
In the article he says that the US is actively considering a military solution while the Chinese don’t believe the US is actively considering a military solution.
That’s an interesting point. I’d wager that Rudd has about the best understanding of Chinese motivations in the western diplomatic sphere. How good is his read on the US though?
Is military action really being actively considered?
Trump is itching for a distraction but alleges he despises the carnage of the Iraq War. Although the North Korean regime clearly is publicly seeking deliverable nuclear weapons, military action would result in the death of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of innocent bystanders. Most likely in South Korea or Japan although the weapons of the North could be trained in China or Russia to equal effect.
At one level, the U.S. is always considering military solutions, even when they cannot realistically be used. Might the Trump Administration be considering a war plan that the military does not deem viable due to North Korea’s likely military response? Perhaps, if the Trump Administration does not understand the limitations of military solutions, or is less concerned about civilian deaths than whether an action would be applauded by the domestic alt-right.
The U.S. has options, but none of them are good and there is a long history that non-military solutions don’t affect North Korea’s behavior. Giving North Korea the cold shoulder has not been effective. Giving North Korea aid and trying to entice the nation into better relations with the West has not worked. There is no workable military solution, due to North Korea’s capacity to strike South Korea. China understands that, but perhaps Trump does not.
Itching for a distraction about what? The months of accusations and speculation that prevents him from focusing on his job. I don’t think Trump is looking for a distraction at all… He keeps sticking it in your face and you keep reacting. The interesting thing is this G20 meeting where he is to meet Putin for the first time. I do wonder what it will look like… if both of them know that they were absolutely nothing to each other until Trump actually became president. I mean, what does Trump do… If he finds an area of cooperation that will ease tensions then he is just pandering to Putin and if he walks away with nothing then he has a failed foreign policy… Well… I guess their is a third option… he could capitulate like Obama and maybe get a nobel peace prize.(small letters intended).