North Korea Tests the Patience of Close Ally China | Jakarta Globe
By Jane Perlez
As Kim Jong Un, the young leader of North Korea, consolidates his grip on power, China is showing signs of increasing frustration at the bellicose behavior of its longtime ally.
Since succeeding his father, Kim Jong Il, six months ago, Kim Jong Un has quickly alienated the Obama administration and put North Korea on track to develop a nuclear warhead that could hit the United States within a few years, Chinese and Western analysts say.
Most surprising, though, is how Kim has thumbed his nose at China, whose economic largess keeps the government afloat. For example, shortly after Kim took over, a Chinese vice minister of foreign affairs, Fu Ying, visited Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, and sternly warned him not to proceed with a ballistic missile test. The new leader went ahead anyway.
Now, the Obama administration and the Chinese government, who warily consult each other on North Korea, are waiting to see if Kim will follow in his father’s footsteps and carry out a nuclear test, which would be North Korea’s third. The previous tests were in 2006 and 2009.
Photo: Ng Han Guan