Someone identified as Anti-Hurricane declared, “North Korea is an unfaithful wolf which will never be fully fed.”
Yet another questioned China’s fraternal relations with Pyongyang. “Is the country that threatened to turn another country into a sea of flames worth our help and support?” asked a person using the name Yan Heming.
Six decades after the Korean War, North Korea is sounding as bellicose as ever, but the average Chinese citizen has moved on, focusing on living standards, not war and revolution. And as the Chinese grow prosperous, they see little in common with the struggling people of their communist neighbor, analysts say.
“It will be big trouble for China once the tide of North Korea refugees including drug dealers, NK agents and currency counterfeiters enters China. They want to destroy everyone,” said Power Plant of Plug.
These days, the sacrifices China made fighting beside the North Koreans against U.S. and South Korean forces in the early 1950s seem distant.
“Several hundred thousand young lives were buried in their land. Did North Korea ever cherish that?” Yan asked. “We should abandon North Korea!”
The first two Kims to lead North Korea, Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il, took their own provocative actions — the 1983 bombing of South Korean leaders visiting Rangoon, Burma, the 1987 downing of a South Korean passenger plane and a 1990s uranium enrichment program that violated an agreement freezing nuclear weapons development.
But the recent nuclear threats by Kim Jong Un have raised tension to a new level. “This is really a crazy leadership” in North Korea, said Chu Shulong, an international relations professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “So dangerous.”
Chu has long argued that China has been “too soft, too weak on North Korea” and should be tougher. “We need to do more sanctions,” Chu said. “Let them know that we are angry and cannot accept their actions.”
Instead, until now, China has sought to draw North Korea close, providing aid and investment and urging it to follow China’s lead in opening up for economic modernization. Aid to North Korea grew from a third of China’s aid budget a decade ago to half of its now-larger aid budget, according to Scott A. Snyder, senior fellow for Korea studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
During visits to China, Kim Jong Il was taken to cellphone and car factories, fiber-optic plants and other showcases of Chinese economic reform. In 2011, the countries agreed to create two special economic zones in North Korea.
The goal was to produce a common interest in stability and development, but it did not work out that way.
“The argument was that we shouldn’t give up” on North Korea, Chu said. “A certain group said, ‘Everyone knows North Korea is a bad guy, but to isolate it would put us in a more dangerous position, so we should try to change North Korea.’ ”