Tensions continue to simmer on the Korean peninsula, amidst bellicose rhetoric from Pyongyang warning that a state of war is “imminent”. Following a fresh round of UN sanctions, the hermit state has been especially testy, declaring the 1953 Armistice treaty with South Korea void, as well as withdrawing workers from the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a joint venture meant to promote goodwill between the two Koreas. Yet, it would seem that the young Mr. Kim is running out of tricks from his bag of threats.
Indeed, the only thing which has changed seems to be China’s attitude toward its petulant neighbour. The erstwhile supporter of the isolated North has softened its stance, supporting UN sanctions against the regime, and even appearing to rebuke its junior partner during a speech where Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that no country should be allowed to cause chaos “for selfish gain” – a comment that whilst indirect, was inescapably clear: though Beijing still remains Pyongyang’s most friendly and powerful international contact, the blank-cheque assurance of diplomatic support has long expired.
Image Credits: ABC News