written by Brook Larmer. added almost 4 years ago by @icyflame ARCHIVES

china north-korea world government politics    

The countries have a love-hate relationship. In the Korean War, the two newly formed Communist states forged a bond that Chairman Mao Zedong claimed was “as close as lips and teeth.” But Kim Il-sung, who was nearly killed by Chinese allies in the 1930s, feared that China would take over his country at the end of the war. Decades later, when the Soviet Union, its main benefactor, collapsed North Korea had nowhere to turn but China and felt betrayed when Beijing established ties with South Korea in 1992. China now accounts for more than 80 percent of North Korean trade, yet Kim Jong-un — channeling his grandfather’s resentment — openly defies Beijing, accelerating his nuclear-weapons program and even timing missile tests to embarrass President Xi Jinping. Until now, the calculus in Beijing has been guided by caution. Push North Korea too hard, the reasoning goes, and the resulting conflict or collapse could lead to millions of refugees pouring into China

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