China Prepares For "Regime Collapse" In North Korea

Tyler Durden's picture

Over the weekend, following reports that China has banned all North Korean coal imports - in the aftermath of last week's North Korean ballistic missile launch- which marked a troubling escalation in relations between the two formerly "amicable" nations, we discussed how China was tipping its hand that not only was Kim Jong-Un potentially losing a "very big ally", but that it could also lead to "jeopady" for his regime, and a potential political coup in the generally unstable dictatorship.

Now, it appears that the likelihood of a regime collapse in North Korea is being taken seriously by none other than the country's formerly largest trading partner, China, which as SCMP reports, "will take the necessary measures to safeguard national security in the event of the collapse of the neighbouring North Korean regime", a defence official said on Thursday.

The recent assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam has sparked renewed concerns over the stability of Pyongyang and the possibility of a collapse of the reclusive regime, SCMP adds.

Beijing, long seen as the guarantor of Pyongyang’s security, had mostly largely silent on the incident. However in the aftermath of the abrupt coal import suspension, Chinese officials no longer had the luxury of avoiding the topic. 

Asked whether China had a contingency plan for a North Korean collapse, defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said Beijing has maintained its usual policy towards Pyongyang, and urged the “relevant parties to refrain from any actions that will escalate tensions”.

"We are resolute in safeguarding the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula, sticking to the objective of denuclearization and to resolving disputes through dialogue and consultation,”Ren said on Thursday. “The Chinese military will take the necessary measures, according to the need that arises in the security environment, to safeguard national security and sovereignty,” he said.

Ren denied recent reports that China had sent troops to the border between China and North Korea after Kim Jong-nam’s death to prevent potential large-scale refugee crossings. Beijing has often been criticised by US President Donald Trump for not doing enough to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear development. The latest missile test has reaffirmed South Korea’s resolve to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD), a US-developed anti-ballistic missile system, following North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January last year.

South Korea’s acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, said on Monday the deployment could not be delayed in the face of the growing nuclear missile threat from the North, despite Beijing’s hostility to the move, Reuters reported. Beijing has strongly protested deployment of THAAD, arguing that the system is not targeted to prevent an attack from North Korea, but could be used to spy on Chinese missile flight tests. Ren at the defence ministry yesterday reiterated China’s opposition to THAAD, saying China would “take all necessary measures to safeguard its national security and sovereignty”.

* * *

Meanwhile, in an inexplicable move, the WSJ reports that in an escalation that is certain to only antagonise China, North Korea lashed out at Beijing in a state-media commentary published on Thursday, in unusually pointed rhetoric from Pyongyang toward a powerful neighbor that it has long relied on for economic support. In Thursday’s piece, North Korea even adopted a mocking tone, saying that the country is “styling itself a big power, is dancing to the tune of the U.S.

The KCNA statement also vowed that cutting its exports wouldn’t deter North Korea from developing its nuclear arsenal. “It is utterly childish to think that the DPRK would not manufacture nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic rockets if a few penny of money is cut off,” the statement said.

The commentary, published by the state-controlled Korean Central News Agency, didn’t name China, but left little doubt about its target: “a neighboring country, which often claims itself to be a ‘friendly neighbor’.” In particular, the article lambasted China for playing down North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, and for curbing foreign trade—an apparent reference to China’s statement over the weekend that it would suspend coal imports from North Korea for the rest of the year.


North Korea remains heavily reliant on its larger neighbor for trade, while China sees North Korea as a buffer against South Korea and Japan, both U.S. allies. But Beijing’s patience wore thin after Pyongyang conducted a series of nuclear and ballistic-missile tests last year, prompting China to back fresh United Nations sanctions in November that target North Korea’s coal exports. According to the KCNA report, the unnamed country “has unhesitatingly taken inhumane steps such as totally blocking foreign trade related to the improvement of people’s living standard under the plea of the U.N. ‘resolutions on sanctions’ devoid of legal ground.”

While an early round of U.N. sanctions restricted coal imports from North Korea, China is widely believed to have used a so-called humanitarian exception to exceed that cap. That loophole was removed in last November’s U.N. resolution, and North Korea’s protest against China suggests that Beijing has made clear it intends to adhere to the new rule, said Adam Cathcart, a scholar who focuses on China-North Korea relations at the University of Leeds in the U.K.

“I would take this editorial as hard evidence that China has told North Korea it is narrowing the definition of coal exports for ‘humanitarian purposes,’” Mr. Cathcart said, adding that it was exceedingly rare for North Korea to criticize China so directly. Mr. Cathcart called the KCNA editorial “a frontal assault on China’s position on the U.N. sanctions issue,” a shift from the oblique critiques of China that North Korea usually turns to when it expresses its displeasure.

* * *

North Korea’s apparent anger at the Chinese comes as Pyongyang has escalated a diplomatic row with another friendly nation in Asia, Malaysia, after authorities in Kuala Lumpur identified a North Korean embassy official and a state-owned airline employee among seven suspects still at large in the killing of dictator Kim Jong Un’s half brother. North Korea has denied its involvement in last week’s public slaying of Kim Jong Nam. Malaysian authorities have refused to turn over the corpse to North Korea, as the embassy there has demanded, instead conducting its own autopsies—a move decried by North Korea as part of a broader conspiracy engineered by South Korea and the U.S.

Just hours before its broadside against China, KCNA published a report blaming Malaysia for an “undisguised encroachment upon the sovereignty of the DPRK,” referring to North Korea by the acronym for its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  “The biggest responsibility for his death rests with the government of Malaysia as the citizen of the DPRK died in its land,” KCNA reported, quoting a group called the Korean Jurists Committee.

* * *

While it remains unclear if there are political pressures mounting on Kim Jong-Un from within (or externally), some have suggested that his reaction to a potential military coup could be terminal, and irrational, resulting in ballistic missile launches at close neighbors, with potentially dire consequences.

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Philo Beddoe's picture

Remind me again. What the fuck does North Korea produce that anybody gives a shit about? 

I like there stance on immigration. I will say that. 

gatorengineer's picture

They assemble made in China Nuclear weapons and missiles....  While the West is supposed to believe that a country that cant produce decent Kimchee can put satellites in orbit....

Darktarra's picture

War wtih North Korea would be easy and make for great reality TV!  In the next day or two, CNN will need a ratings boost! 

Logan 5's picture
Logan 5 (not verified) Darktarra Feb 23, 2017 9:51 AM


greenskeeper carl's picture

China better get to making that wall a little higher. As much of a nuisance as NK can be, them collapsing is still a nightmare scenario for both SK and China. The millions of refugees flooding both borders will have to be dealt with. Both countries could come to conflict while trying to secure the Nork's nuclear arsenal, which would need to be done before they found their way into the international arms market and get bought by some terrorist group.

BaBaBouy's picture

"China Prepares For "Regime Collapse" In North Korea"

Tick Tock Tick Tock ...

The question the whirld should be asking is WILL he get a chance to fire off a Nuke before he's Toast ???

Logan 5's picture
Logan 5 (not verified) BaBaBouy Feb 23, 2017 9:59 AM

Please! Anything but another Pierce Brosnan James Bond movie.

larz's picture

Send Dennis Rodman back in with his wedding dress and madonna in tow to fix things

eatthebanksters's picture

If I were a resident of Seoul or any major China city near North Korea, I would be greatly concerned.If Kim Dong Dumb goes down he is going to try and take as many of his adversaries with him as he can.

flapdoodle's picture

It seems more likely to me that North Korea is a Chinese puppet masquerading as a loose cannon. That China is distancing itself from N.Korea in my book could be total misdirection - say N.Korea launches a nuke missile at Hollywood (be still my heart)  or more likely Guam - China disavows the whole thing even though the Norks are secretly doing exactly what China wants.

Given what is going on in the South China Sea, I would not be one bit surprised.

forestwind's picture

flapdoodle has a very interesting theory. China feigns distance from North Korea. China secretly works with North Korea to take out Guam, or a any U.S. vessel or base in the region. There are countless possible targets sitting there asking for it. North Korea is blamed. U.S. occupied colonies of South Korea and Japan invade North Korea and get stuck in yet another lose-lose conflict in an extension of the Korea War which never actually ended; only a truce. South Korea's government and economy is already in shambles. Japan is self-destructing with the never ending Fukushima catastrophe. The U.S. is in the midst of a domestic coup. China watches and waits while building up her arsenals and continuing to develop and grow as the U.S. and the West speeds toward further decline and irrelevance.

BeanusCountus's picture

And it would be a great way to get rid of a PITA to the north, as Trump would probably wipe NC off face of the earth if they launch at US.

AmadausVoltaire's picture

Norks..... Hahaha hahaha ! 

You're awesome.

francis scott falseflag's picture


Queen Elizabeth's head will be chopped off in Parliament Square before anything untoward happens to Kim Jong-un.

Offthebeach's picture

What ever happened to "I never knew I was a Jew " Madeleine Albright's basketball?

SweetDougisaTwat's picture

Yeah, that fucking pathetic nigger acting like a diplomat visiting a foreign tyrant enemy of the US.  Fucking nigger.  Fucking stupid nigger.

Cman5000's picture

That is probably the nightmare scenario. Or rogue NK military elements depart for the US in cargo ships put a Nuke into a US port city. 

detached.amusement's picture

that's probably how the whole ciamossad setup will go for this,

-kill kims

-oh geez nuke insecurity

-dancing israelis dance


China halting North Korean coal might be a little risky. If North Korea can't get any cash from their coal I wonder what a nuclear warhead goes for on the black market these days?

DaveA's picture

I hope South Korea doesn't repeat West Germany's mistake by giving all North Koreans immediate citizenship with voting rights. West German voters were about 40% socialist, but after reunification the socialists had 60% of the vote!

FirstShirt's picture

Having spent two years in South Korea, only 38 miles from the border with NK, let me say that the only likely method of "securing" those nukes would require a First Strike upon the sites that house their launch capabilities.  If forces could damage their launch capability without too much incidental damage, it might be the Coup 'd Gras for the current regime in NK.  The rank & file citizen, including the majority of the military would love for South Korea to absorb their nation.

DirkDiggler11's picture

Master Sergeant knows his Kimchee

MaxThrust's picture

"before they found their way into the international arms market and get bought by the CIA and funnelled to ISIS."

There  you go, fixed it for you.

therealestg9's picture

South Korea is a vassal state of the US. The reason our troops are still in SK is to make sure that when the NK regime collapses, our spec ops forces will be the first on the ground to seize valuable assets. Also, don't forget the fact that Wikileaks exposed that the US foreign policy is to publicly clash with NK but privately support them through "aid" in the form of food and supplies. We have to keep them propped up to keep the military industrial complex running. We need a bogeyman, always.

SilverRhino's picture

The reason we are still there is to keep the SOUTH from heading North.    

China doesn't need to do anything but build a wall.   Any attempted occupation of North Korea and South Korea will send troops north immediately.   


FirstShirt's picture

I do not disagree with you about the MIC.  We have spent countless Trillions purchasing Military Equipment for "conflicts" we have been involved in since WW2.  We not only buy aircraft, tanks, ammo, and war fighting materials, but also clothing, food, housing, office supplies, computer equipment, and so forth.  We ship these things to a foreign nation and consume or destroy it all on a constantly recurring basis.  Not many successful warfare involvements sinse 1945.  Our tactics in recent decades have been refined to prolong the event without achieving any particular "win" scenario.  Just keen fighting and requg resupply.  Vietnam was a good example of that.

Unreliable Narrator's picture

You mean made in Pakistan.  China's not that stupid.

achmachat's picture

I used to live across the street from their embassy complex in Beijing, with a lot of my neighbors and shops being North Korean, and I can assure you that their Kimchee is top notch!

Thought Processor's picture



I would also add that their military clearly has the best hats.  Say what you want about nuclear this or crazy dictator that.........


In a world where appearences are everything, that hat design says it all.

Buck Johnson's picture

Yep they either make or assemble weapons of all types so that China can make money and give NK a cut and/or  NK make money and give China a cut also.  If your a country that needs weapons NK will sell to anybody, period.


NumNutt's picture

Zipperheads....thats what they produce...

goldandsilverguy's picture

It is only a matter of time until Lil' Kim gets his dong cut off by his Dominatrix, China.

AVmaster's picture

Rare minerals.

NK has the largest rare minerals reserve/collection in the world. This doesn't include gold, but other things that you never hear about, but are essential for electronics like zircon(which is used in refractory), and jewelry type stuff as well.

China makes a killing in trade with NK over this stuff. Like a bag of rice for a ton of unrefined minerals, which they then take and refine themselves(way better and cheaper that way), in return, NK also gets other benifits like nuclear power protection, money on the side, military support, etc etc....

hungrydweller's picture

I call BS about NK having huge rare mineral reserves.  Source?  Also, zirconium is not rare at all.  From Wiki:  As of 2013, two-thirds of zircon mining occurs in Australia and South Africa.[14] Zircon resources exceed 60 million tonnes worldwide[15] and annual worldwide zirconium production is approximately 900,000 tonnes.

AVmaster's picture

I was talking about a WIDE range of minerals that NK sits on....

Zircon is one of but many...


STILL: NK trades the shit with china. That is one of their main money makers.


Why are you being a dipshit for? Your boyfriend not tickle you right last night?

kommissar's picture

af/pak far exceeds noko on rare minerals.

tmosley's picture

They make hilarious propoganda and human misery.

Verlorenes Geld's picture

These films rival the best worst 1970's Kung Fu movies!

youngman's picture

I hear they make a good $100 bill the millions

BlindMonkey's picture

It is just as legit as the ones you get from the Fed.

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Counterfeits of counterfeits. What does it matter?

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Yes indeed, it looks like CHINA, RUSSIA and the US have had enough of North Korea.

North Korea has CROSSED the proverbial RED LINE and is now a CLEAR and PRESENT DANGER to the world elite plans.

North Korea is DARK at night when viewed from above the earth. Truly sad how bad their economy is today.

Bush Baby's picture

Maybe Trump is squeezing China's balls about NK.


flapdoodle's picture

I fear it may be the reverse. China may be having N Korea act out of control and causing a headache for Trump. Problem is that N Korea is an asset they can only trigger one time, and all hell breaks loose. But they can sit back and say

"it wasn't us. sooo sorry Guam got nuked. Too bad N. Korea invaded S. Korea and both are now a pile of rubble. Don't worry though, China will invade N. Korea to keep order and straighten things out..."

LasVegasDave's picture

Im gonna miss that short, crazy, nuke slinging son of a bitch

how_this_stuff_works's picture

You should hope you get the chance to miss him before he slings any of those nukes.

What a "parting" gift that would be. Not.