North Korea is testing rockets designed to hit American soil. The announcement, which was delivered on January 24, confirms that North Korea is not just developing rocket technology to launch satellites. This is hardly an astounding revelation. But why the sudden aggressiveness right now?
China and Japan are locked in a territorial dispute over some small, yet crucial islands in the East China Sea. This is not a new problem, but this time there is more on the line than just a few islands. President Obama’s “Pacific pivot” demands that America make its presence felt more in the Asia-Pacific region. American treaties with Japan state that the United States must come to Japan’s aid if there is a conflict. America is expected to support the Japanese should the dispute escalate. Obama’s Pacific strategy also entails rallying other Asian nations against the growing power of China.
China is well aware of the subtle push by the United States to gain more influence and simultaneously slow the rate at which the Chinese economy and military are domineering the East.
One of the tools China uses to push back at America is North Korea.
North Korea relies heavily on its big neighbor. China supplies more than two thirds of North Korea’s food and more than half of its energy. Without the aid of China, North Korea would be crushed under international sanctions. North Korea has no choice but to dance to China’s tune.
The recent actions of North Korea point directly to Chinese influence.
China has no need to directly confront the U.S. It can afford to wait and watch as the U.S. tries to show a strong face against the aggression from North Korea—a country that America has little actual leverage over. And as America is shown to be impotent, it will lose its ability to unite the various Pacific powers against China. Japan doesn’t get along with Taiwan, Taiwan doesn’t get along with South Korea, South Korea doesn’t like Japan—and if America is perceived to be weak, there is nothing holding them together. One by one, each nation will be pulled under China’s influence. And America will be the big loser.
Years of failure on the North Korea issue risk undermining America’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Yet ironically, as America’s Pacific strategy of uniting the various Asian powers against China is failing, the Bible predicts that many of these nations will put aside their differences and rally together for strength. “Despite its many national, religious and political differences, Asia will ultimately be welded together into a common power bloc,” the Plain Truth wrote back in April 1968. In biblical terms, the resulting conglomeration is known as the kings of the east. Read Russia and China in Prophecy for more on this rising power bloc. Continue to watch as China expands its influence to control the entire Asia-Pacific region. ▪