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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Caleb Abell's picture

Any reunification under SK would mean the US would move military assets right up the the Chinese border.  China will never allow that threat to be realized.  The NK situation may be the excuse the neocans are looking for to start the war they seem to want with China.  That's OK, the US is overpopulated anyway.

JustPastPeacefield's picture

China has a tiger by the tail.

N. Korea should never have been allowed to get to this dangerous point. The US, China and others created this monster, now it probably won't end without a mushroom cloud.

Subsidizing a crazy lunatic with nukes since the Clinton admin (wonder which FOB made bucks off the oil we gave them) was cruel to the Korean people who were starving, and it will be cruel to whoever is on the receiving end of those nukes. Talk about making a deal with the devil. 

Kayman's picture

NK is a puppet of China. Far better for China to have NK firing missiles and rattling the nuclear cage, than China itself.

MrBoompi's picture

William Mount says the US gave NK 10 missiles, one of them was test launched, leaving 9 left.  If the insider who provided this info to Mount was correct, the whole missile incident was part of a covert op.  China might be pissed off because they know what's going on here.  We use the NK "threat" in order to encircle China, the real boogeyman.  

rejected's picture

Every leader is a nutjob,,, a thug,,, a dictator,,, except of course........our nutjobs, thugs and dictators.

I wouldn't be holding your breath waiting for Kim to leave and I sure as hell wouldn't expect the US to vacate the area. The US is like a leach. Once attached you have to burn it off.

Dragon HAwk's picture

During the revolution China will just have to Send in Peace Keepers, to protect the Citizens and  ( children ) you know block the bridges, set up check points, stabilize both borders.  /s

  If south Korea is smart they will carve off a 500 mile chunk of land for themselves, like Canada did to the US,  although clearing all the land mines, might not be worth the Grab.  maybe  China and Sk have already agreed on a  few Lines.

Kayman's picture

"they will carve off a 500 mile chunk of land for themselves, like Canada did to the US,"

Huh?  Without the U.S. Civil war, there wouldn't be a Canada. Maybe, except for Quebecistan.

Omega_Man's picture

does Kim have emp's for usa?

CRM114's picture

Any small nuke will do, together with any launcher with sufficient range. At the moment, the general concensus is the nukes aren't small enough to fit on a missile warhead and the missiles with the range aren't reliable enough. He could be there on both next week, but more likely in around three years for both.

It's highly likely the Chinese are at least trying to establish NK progress.

As to what they'll do about it....

Dragon HAwk's picture

Yeah I always figured  NK was China's, hey test this out for me  Buddy.. when it came to nuke design stuff.

CRM114's picture

Um, that's not what I said. Last thing the Chinese will do is help NK's nukes.

Would you lend your shotgun to your weird, angry cousin?

They want to know what is happening, not help it.

I probably should have put "establish what NK's progress is"

ANiceDepolorable's picture

Sometimes you do give the shotgun to the weidro - because you expect him to shoot your other neighbor whose dog is crapping on your lawn.  Two birds, one stone - unless he points the shotgun at you.

ANiceDepolorable's picture

And the US does actually have enough ICBM defense to ward off a missile or two.

Old Hippie Patriot's picture

The Clintons sold NK the nuclear reactors that NK used to create A-bomb isotopes. They could have supplied the type of reactor that does not create bomb isotopes, but Hillary's evil rage against the US is so great, she was willing to create a threat to the US for a profit.

The US could have disrupted the Iranian and North Korean missile development by jamming the telemetry, monitoring the flight with radar and intercepting the reentry vehicles. Testing a missile that had sufficient range to threaten the US would have to reenter the atmosphere over international waters.

roddy6667's picture

Kim could make himself a hero and gain himself a place in history, if he sees his power waivering. He could propose that the North and South unite as One Korea again. 99% of all Koreans would back that. The first thing One Korea would do is kick a couple hundred thousand American soldiers and their missiles pointed at China out of Korea. Kim could retire from active work and just be a hero to all Koreans for the rest of his life. Of course, America wouldn't allow this. They provoke tensions between the North and the South so they will have their missile bases and seaports 130 miles off the Chinese coast.

quesnay's picture

One Korea with Kim in charge? Somehow I think South Korea would be less than enthusiastic about that and it seems very unlikely Kim would ever voluntarily give up power either.

roddy6667's picture

You should read my post before you criticize it. I said specifically that it would involve him retiring.

SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

Kumbaya my lord kumbaya.  I have you pictured in an ancient tie dyed t-shirt, beads and while bald , sporting a ponytail.

roddy6667's picture

Wrong on all counts. Your powers of deduction are less than amazing.

Kevin Trader's picture

They are just waiting for North Korea to fire one of their "Long Duck Dong" ICBM's. Then china's "guidance software" can kick bringing the missle straigh back dwn on Kimmy, North Korean agression and refugee issue solved at same time  

barysenter's picture

Suddenly the Nork FSA is going to rediscover their Souk kinship. SK best prepare for extreme refugee crisis.

roddy6667's picture

It worked in Germany. A lot of people like you made the same claims.

Ilmarinen's picture

It seen by all how pig neighbours made to dance by corrupt American overlord.  This withhold of few penny cannot deter progeny of people's Dear Leader, inventor of metalurgy, agriculture, spec. ops., golf, and other treasures.  DPRK will resort to even eat grass before give up nuclear necessity for save all peoples from capitalist pig-master. Situation wonderful, see how generals clutch notepads with glee.  Glorious Juche forever!

LOL123's picture

WSJ - "North Korea even adopted a mocking tone, saying that the Country is "styling itself a big power, is dancing to the tune of the US".

Maybe it is true.

1. JP Morgan was just granted a China Corporate bond underwriting license to underwrite debt financing instruments issued by non- financial entities, including commercial papers, medium term notes and other instruments approved by the REGULATORS.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice capitalism in the UN and Rothschild banking system of the beast system.

Pretty sure war is the answer to land grabs, debt, and population control.... Hold on to your seats bumpy ride ahead.

francis scott falseflag's picture


                 I'm Tom Brokaw

And This is Your Fake News for Thursday February 23, 2017

jonjon831983's picture

A collapse would be a big change in the geopolitical arena.

The question is if China has been pushing this to be happening or it is happening for external reasons.

South Korea will be severely impacted meaning USA will need to react and the DPRK will no longer be a buffer for China.

Omega_Man's picture

nk suicide subs to fire at usa...emp

HRH Feant's picture
HRH Feant (not verified) Omega_Man Feb 23, 2017 4:08 PM

Yep. Boom boom out go the lights.

GodSpeed_00's picture

Someone needs to take the fat boy out now.

francis scott falseflag's picture


Ah so. Drop a Fat Boy on the Fat Boy.  Chop Chop.

SHADEWELL's picture

Ruh Roe

Con fuk you shus say

When Little fat man with small weiner make one too many threat with missle, master will make sure that dick get completely cut off

Boca's picture

Trump did say he expected China to deal with NK, maybe that is what is happening.

lakecity55's picture

IF they take out Fatso, Trump can offer to pull the THAAD system out and on the back burner IF the new guy offers a missile test ban.
OR, Trump could pull back the carrier task force in the South China Sea.


Musum's picture

China didn't announce that they're preparing for regime collapse. A reporter asked a question and the defense official gave their stock answer. Nothing to see here.

Joebloinvestor's picture

I bet the queery little runt won't take the train to China like his dad.

They blow up all the time don't ya know.

turnball the banker's picture
turnball the banker (not verified) Feb 23, 2017 4:23 PM

Has NK got a Rothschild reserve bank yet?

ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

it's fake news- here's the real story;

KJU was rescued Wednesday when a small bridge (known as a regime') that connects his house to a meditation pond collapsed under his weight while he was mid-stride over the bridge. He suffered only a bruised ego and cursed the builder. The builder was led on to an open field this morning for some flack gun testing.

please check and vet your sources.




ToSoft4Truth's picture

Chinese policy works with American policy in terms of North Korea.


A lot of cheap labor in North Korea will be coming online if the coup works. 

lakecity55's picture

Fat Boy is on his way to

A) Peaceful exile in Beijing
B) Liquidated by the PRC IF he does not choose option A!

Eddielaidler's picture

The real destabilization comes when China seals the northern border and Kimmy allows massive flows south. The chaos will be huge.

are we there yet's picture

I would like to hear what Dennis Rodman has to say. It should be funny.

Cluster_Frak's picture

whateva niggas, China will not allow US-Korean troops at its border. The buffer zone must be preserved at ALL cost, even if a zillion of kimche eating niggas must starve.

Savyindallas's picture


ANiceDepolorable's picture

Is it possible that, on their way down, the Kim crowd nukes the Chi-coms? 

DIGrif's picture

I was thinking the same thing. That would be funny as a motherfucker as long as the Chinks don't think someone else did it and start armaggedon.

Sorry_about_Dresden's picture

If Truman could have controlled the MIC after WWII, kept us out of the Korean civil war, they would be a very prosperus, unfied country, and probably would have mimiced the PRC. 

This is BS, this conflict still ongoing, that the USA thinks they have some interest to protect w/ the fucking dmz , and ~30,000 troops deployed there is lunacy.

When are people going to look at the numbers are realized the budget deficit for 2016 = the defense budget = $585,000,000,000?

I could think of much better stuff to spend $600,000,000,000! Who gives a fuck about the Korean Peninsula? We never should have been over there in the 1950s getting our asses kicked by the Chinese.