The Corner

China Helps Keep North Korea in Line

Here’s some good news (for a change) on North Korea. We’ve had numerous reports of Chinese hesitance to help the U.S. curb North Korea’s nuclear program. But this article suggests that, since our invasion of Iraq, the Chinese may have forced the North Koreans to stop their provocations. (Thanks to ParaPundit, by the way, for the link and the comments.) The remarkable thing here is that the Chinese are apparently using our invasion of Iraq to point out to the North Koreans that the United States is not a paper tiger. That is exactly what the administration hoped this war would achieve.

But don’t get too happy about this encouraging news of Chinese pressure on the North Koreans. For one thing, the Chinese are internally divided on this issue, so it’s anything but clear that they will consistently carry through. And the biggest problem of all is that, even with pressure from China, it will be well nigh impossible to monitor North Korea’s nuclear progress. To see why, read “An Ominous Cloud,” the third entry in my series of articles on North Korea. I’m afraid the piece got a bit lost in all the rush of the war’s beginning. But the danger from North Korea is real, and growing. For another dose of unpleasant reality, c<a href="mailto:.

Stanley Kurtz — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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