The incredibly complex diplomatic situation in North Korea is continuing to unravel this week, and China is now preparing for the worst.
North Korea has spent an inordinate amount of time and energy attempting to antagonize and threaten the United States, particularly targeting President Donald Trump in a number of insulting propaganda pieces. Furthermore, the tiny nation’s unwieldy obsession with becoming a nuclear force to be reckoned with has created more enemies than allies for the maniacal Kim Jong Un.
Options for taking action against Kim and his North Korean military aren’t pretty. With an enormous army of civilians and a battery of artillery trained on Seoul, South Korea at all times, any military moves against North Korea would likely be met with a horrendous backlash. As far as diplomatic options go, only China has a true grasp on the tiny Asian nation, and previous attempts to drag Beijing into the mix have been met with varied results.
Now, however, it looks as thought the Chinese are truly ready for action.
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“Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, or China-North Korea Friendship Bridge, across the Yalu River at the Chinese city of Dandong will be closed while North Korea repairs the approach road on its side.
“Geng said that ‘after the maintenance, the bridge will reopen for passage,’ but gave no date for the reopening or other details.
“The bridge closure comes after state-owned airline Air China suspended flights Tuesday between Beijing and North Korea due to a lack of demand, deepening the North’s isolation amid mounting UN sanctions. “
The repair story, coming at this strange juncture in history, is plausibly a cover for more intense work on the border between the nations, particularly after a grotesque video emerged earlier this week of a North Korean solider defecting into South Korea.
In the video, the North Korea soldier was seen fleeing to the relative safety of South Korea, being chased by other North Korean military personnel. The defector was fired upon and struck by multiple rounds in his escape before being rescued by South Koreans. Shortly after the attempt, North Korea performed maintenance near the border that included adding new obstacles to deter defectors, including trenches and thick tree lines.