China and North Korea’s Relationship Enters ‘Historical Period’

A new Chinese ambassador to North Korea arrived in Pyongyang to assume office on March 27. Wang Yajun is poised to boost the North’s ability to threaten America and its partners.

At a press conference in Beijing on March 28, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Mao Ning said Wang’s installation meant China and North Korea had begun “a new historical period” in bilateral relations.

We believe that Ambassador Wang Yajun’s assumption of office will play an important role in promoting the development of the traditional friendship and cooperation between China and North Korea. China and North Korea are friendly neighbors sharing mountains and rivers.
—Mao Ning

Nuclear material: The same day Ambassador Wang arrived, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected tactical nuclear warheads at a state nuclear weapons institute.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, Kim told nuclear scientists at the institute to step up production of weapons-grade material.

When we are flawlessly prepared to use nuclear weapons anytime and anywhere, nuclear weapons would not be used forever, and if the powerful and superior nuclear force going beyond imagination is ready for offensive posture, the enemy would fear us and not dare provoke our state sovereignty, system and people.
—Kim Jong-un

Outside help: In recent months, North Korea has increased missile launches and nuclear threats. Instead of expressing outrage at such provocations on its border, China appears indifferent. This is because, with help from Russia, China has been instrumental in North Korea’s illegal weapons development and its saber-rattling. It is because of China’s and Russia’s relationship with North Korea that this small, “solitary” country has a nuclear arsenal. The stronger that Chinese and Russian support grows, the more daring North Korea will become.

Learn more: Read “North Korea—Truly an Isolated State?