The Government of North Korea let a senior American nuclear scientist see a state of the art nuclear facility it just built when he visited there last week. The new facility was constructed to enrich uranium, which can be used to create more powerful nuclear weapons than the 8 to 12 the North already has, which are all plutonium based.
There has been a good deal of speculation about the North Koreans motive for revealing the facilities existence. Some believe it is an attempt by North Korea to coerce the United States into sending huge new aid packages in return for suspending operations or dismantling the facility altogether, some believe it was done to enhance the credibility of Kim Jong Sun, the North Korean dauphin and next Supreme Leader, some believe it was done to show the world that North Korea is a nuclear power and wishes to be treated as such, some believe it was done to wring concessions out of its neighbors or to strike fear in their hearts, some believe it was done to convince the world to abandon the crippling sanctions that have been imposed on the country because they have obviously failed to achieve their purpose and so on. The real reason the facilities existence was revealed has nothing to do with the North Koreans however.
It has to do with the Chinese.
North Korea would never have let the world know that the new facility existed without the prior knowledge and approval of China. It simply beggars belief to think otherwise. That being the case the question then becomes, why did the Chinese do it…what was behind their decision to let the North Koreans go ahead and what were they really doing?
They were sending a message to President Obama and America, that’s what.
Ever since Obama took office American military might has been diminishing. The U.S. military is not as powerful or capable as it was prior to Obama’s election and the possibility that it will continue to be diluted and weakened under him is very high. This has created a void which Russia is eagerly seeking to fill. If Russia doesn’t have to be preoccupied with the United States it can turn its attention to China, which is the last thing the Chinese want. A weak America is making the Russian bear hungry and the Chinese know the bear will be looking in their direction to feed itself if it can. A strong America precludes that, a debilitated America makes it both possible and likely. By allowing the North Koreans to show off their enhanced nuclear capabilities and by extension increase the threat to the U.S. and its allies it is telling Obama and America to stop emasculating the military, to restore its capability and to make the balance of power a reality again. From the Chinese point of view a strong America and a weaker Russia is far preferable to a weaker America and a strong Russia in the geopolitical scheme of things. That’s their motive and their message.
Its checks and balances Chinese style.