North Korea is not a country with a lot of allies.So when its state-run news agency appeared to lash out at key supporter China — alleging it was “dancing to the tune of the U.S.” — it raised eyebrows.The ties between Pyongyang and Beijing run deep, with the relationship characterized by some former Chinese leaders as “close as lips and teeth.”“China is North Korea’s most important ally, biggest trading partner, and main source of food, arms, and energy,” according to a backgrounder published last year by the Council on Foreign Relations. It added that “China provides North Korea with most of its food and energy supplies and accounts for more than 70 percent of North Korea’s total trade volume.”However, China disapproves of North Korea’s nuclear program and has backed U.N. sanctions against it.
The North Korean regime appears to be disintegrating. The brother of their fat little tyrant, Kim Jong-Un was recently assassinated and the Trump Admin abruptly cut off back-channel talks with North Korea. It’s difficult to draw any conclusions about the back channel talks and it’s entirely possible that the story is completely untrue given the source (NY Times). But North Korea’s public tongue lashing of China can only be interpreted as extremely bad news. Millions of people in that country are starving every day and while the fall of Kim Jong-Un’s corrupt regime can only be a positive in the long run, a power struggle could result in the deaths of millions in the short term. Let’s hope that the Trump Administration can be the first administration to make progress with the North Koreans.