Harry Kazianis tried to explain, in his Real Clear World piece, why the People’s Republic of China “won’t solve” the northern Korea crisis for us. It’s complicated for the PRC, he said.
He [Kazianis’ carefully unidentified “Chinese scholar” and “retired official of the People’s Liberation Army”] pressed his case, noting, “look at this problem from where I sit in Beijing. I see a world of trouble when it comes to North Korea. I see war. I see death. I see superpower showdowns. We must all agree we don’t want this. Yes, nuclear weapons are bad, but North Korea could create far more trouble than you realize, and China would have to deal with most of it.”
Kazianis then dragged out a couple of bromides that have been arguing against doing anything serious about northern Korea, one maintaining that a desperate Baby Kim, with his energy imports reduced, would start a nuclear war if we got serious; the other insisting that, with northern Korea’s food imports reduced, a desperate population would riot—and a failed coup would lead to civil war that would become nuclear and involve the PRC, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the US.
Kazianis ignored a simple fact, though. Baby Kim is going to use his nuclear weapons, either for blackmail or for actual strikes, as soon as he can deliver them. He’s intimated as much often.
If Kazianis’ unidentified, anonymous source actually exists, that just puts a premium on the PRC getting started. Even if this “source” does not, the principle and its outcome remain the same: Baby Kim is going to do what he’s going to do unless overt, serious steps are taken to deprive him of the tools with which to do them.