The People’s Republic of China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, misunderstands. Or maybe not.
Wang last month began urging the rest of the Six-Party Talks members (the PRC, Japan, the RoK, Russia, and the US) to resume negotiations with northern Korea (the sixth member) regarding its nuclear weapons program. That’s Wang’s misunderstanding.
There’s nothing to negotiate. Northern Korea stands in gross violation of a number of UN mandates requiring it not to have a nuclear weapons program and not to have nuclear weapons. In addition, northern Korea stands in gross violation of prior agreements reached in earlier iterations of the Six-Party Talks.
What’s required now is enforcement of those mandates and agreements. What’s required now is the dismantlement of northern Korea’s nuclear weapons programs and nuclear weapons. By all means necessary.
Of course, the PRC well knows this about its client. A militarily capable—even a little bit—client is a useful tool in the PRC’s power struggle with us. This client, in this condition, is a useful tool in the PRC’s implied threats and open aggression against the nations ringing the East and South China Seas, many of whom are our friends and allies.
Maybe there’s no misunderstanding at all here. The PRC also well knows that talks will produce nothing substantive concerning northern Korea’s nuclear weapons or its belligerence.