NationalSecurity: This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- China announces it will block imports of North Korea’s coal
- Assassination of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother in Malaysia threatens relations with China and North Korea
Two events in the last week – North Korea’s test of a long-range ballistic missile and the assassination, possibly by North Korean agents, of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of president Kim Jong-un – have infuriated and embarrassed China’s leaders, since they enormously complicate China’s foreign policy.
The ballistic missile test is particularly troubling to China’s leadership for several reasons:
- It violates UN Security Council resolutions supported by China. Furthermore, the missile test threatens the political stability of the entire region, and China’s leaders object when any country other than China threatens the regional stability.
- The missiles begin tested, while nominally intended for use against Japan, South Korea and the United States, could also be used against targets in China, if the child dictator Kim Jong-un feels threatened in some way by China.
- China has vigorously objected to the deployment in South Korea of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, claiming that the defensive missiles are not needed and that they in some way threaten China. North Korea’s ballistic missile test makes the THAAD deployment in South Korea even more necessary.
China’s announcement on Saturday that it would suspend all coal shipments from North Korea was a surprise, but not totally unexpected.