N. Korea is not really a a proxy state, the best you can call it is a rogue proxy state. It's not like it doesn't extort China too. It knows China doesn't want instability on it's border. Funnily enough the rest of the world thinks China can snap it's fingers and get the situation fixed up. The rest of the world is perplexed why it's not happening.
The analogy they made is to Israel. The whole world thinks that Israel is a proxy of the US. The rest of the world doesn't understand why the U.S just can't get Israel to stop building settlements. In fact when the U.S makes a public stink about it, Israel builds new settlements out of spite.
So the term is ... rogue proxy.
I believe this is the episode: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/podcasts/the-daily/north-... . Not a 100% sure about it, since I listened to it in my podcast feed and just did a search for it.
Not trying to make up excuses for any of the parties involved here. Just pointing out that China likely won't sit on its ass as this happens.
The only silver lining I see is that maybe this will provide China with the incentive to just throw Kim under the bus (literally under a bus... or a tank) and put some less belligerent puppet in his place.
China already is behaving aggressively, expanding territory under its control (e.g., in the S. China Sea) and threatening to do so elsewhere (e.g, in the Senkaku islands). They may try to justify their next aggression by blaming someone, but that isn't meaningful.
The same applies to Russia, which already had annexed part of Georgia and clearly had designs on the southern Ukrainian province of Crimea (which did nothing to protect them against missiles). They justify their behavior, like all bad actors throughout history. Look at the Nazi's list of excuses as they snatched territory in the run-up to WWII.
The U.S. and others can't be intimidated into inaction while aggressors like Russia and China keep moving forward, for fear of 'upsetting' their tender feelings.
I suspect almost all countries that don't get military hardware from the US or Russia build their missiles with Chinese parts.
Russia gets slaves from them, thats why Russia protects them. China both profits from them, but also doesn't want to deal with Refugees. So they make the selfish act of letting the child run crazy.
How do you know the Chinese leadership's strategic thinking about NK? Also, that hypothesis doesn't explain the massive resources, including blood, they spent defending NK.
I don't think NK's 25 million citizen labor pool, likely operating at extremely low-productivity levels and less than 1/40th of China's, makes much economic impact. Nor does China want competition from cheap labor.
I consider NK to be a serious threat to the US and her allies but I think the Chinese do not consider NK to be a serious threat to the Chinese.
Imagine if Cuba decided to start allowing Chinese anti-missile defense systems at the US' doorstep because we weren't willing to deal with our ally Mexico regarding a conflict that didn't threat us.
It only makes sense for threatened parties to develop defense if not retaliatory measures. Imagine if the USSR never developed nuclear weapons while the USA threatened them with nuclear attack?
The missile defense systems we deployed in SK could be used to track Chinese missiles. My point was imagine the outcry from the US if we perceived that the Chinese were tracking our missiles under the guise of tracking Mexico's.
The comment suggests taking actions against possible nuclear development, while China's position has always been "no nuclear on Korean peninsula". We know that the statement or stand had no real effects. So the only other possible alternative would be to interfere directly to stop them from developing their defense systems. So I thought the parent comment is suggesting that.
I phrased it in such a way to draw parallel with US military actions recently to show how that is equally undesirable.
US military is present in South Korea and Japan because of N. Korea and China, not anybody else.
You don't see such US military presence in NZ or Australia.
I'm not sure that paints an accurate picture.
The first reason the U.S. is in Japan and S Korea is because the U.S. won WWII and setup bases in captured territory. If you look at most major U.S. bases around the world, you will notice they are in territory captured in WWII: Germany, Italy, Japan, S Korea, the Philippines (legal and future status uncertain), etc.
It's the same reason the UK controls Gibralter (since a war in ~1704!), Russia controls Kaliningrad (WWII), Taiwan is relatively independent (Japan conquered it in the late 19th century, then the U.S. took it in WWII), Hong Kong (UK in 19th century), etc. It's the spoils of war, and the consequences can last perpetually - until the next major war. Imagine how different China's situation would be if those bases weren't there.
The second reason is that East Asia is militarily unstable, and the U.S. presence provides stability appreciated by all. Otherwise all these very distrustful neighbors would build up militaries, disrupt trade, and end up in wars. China may be the exception, but probably even they don't want the U.S. to just walk away, leave a vacuum of chaos, destabilize the Korean Peninsula, and compel Japan to becoming a full military power again; they probably want to slowly replace U.S. power with their own.
Australia and New Zealand are not militarily unstable, though they do have close relationships with U.S. military and security institutions. The U.S. does base troops in N. Australia now, to support security to the north.
I think you supported by argument. Why is East Asia militarily unstable?
Some is basic international relations (which I'm no expert in, and I'm writing quickly off the top of my head ...):
Fundamentally, there are multiple powers in close proximity (China, Japan, Russia, and currently S Korea) who are militarily competitive (i.e., there's not one clearly dominant power, as in N. America, whom the others can't challenge) and vulnerable to each other (e.g., not separated by an ocean, like the U.S. and other powers). This is a sure recipe for wars, and there's a history of it happening in East Asia. Furthermore, there is a lot of nationalistic hatred, especially between Japan and the other powers. Another example of powers in proximity is Europe through WWII, where wars were fought for hundreds of years.
Domestically, conflicts are resolved through rules (laws) and mechanisms (courts), and there is an authority to enforce it all (government). In the international arena there is no authority; it's fundamentally Darwinian anarchy and nations, fearing for their very survival or seeing opportunity in the lawlessness, end up shooting at each other. The way Europe stopped having wars was to create the European Union, which provided the authority, rules, and mechanisms (and the American presence helped too). Globally, the United Nations and "international law" serve that purpose to a degree, and international wars have been greatly reduced since WWII, but really there is no authority with enforcement power.
But there is, to an extent, one exception to that last sentence, the United States. The U.S. can play that role to a degree. They aren't a legitimate authority, in that nobody elected them and they represent nobody but their own interests (hopefully enlightened), but they have the power to enforce things when they want to. Much of the world, desiring some order and wishing to avoid crippling wars, supports it to a degree. The U.S. is, relatively to predecessors and to potential alternatives (China, the old USSR, etc.), a responsible steward: They want peace, human rights, and prosperity. The U.S. is averse to conquering foreign lands (i.e., to keep them) and long-term wars. When you hear American officials talk about maintaining the 'rules-based international order' (referred to by some others as the 'U.S.-led international order'), this role is what they mean.
That's the role the U.S. plays in East Asia. They have the power to keep a lid on conflict there, and therefore the local powers don't need to build up militarily and to seek every advantage to ensure their survival.
China is now challenging the U.S.-led international order, including many of the rules that they feel don't suit them. The more the East Asian powers see the U.S. hesitate to fulfill its role, such as during the recent Presidential campaign, the more they build up their own militaries (which is happening rapidly) or consider making a deal with China (which is discussed, even in Australia).
So even if US guarantees nuclear umbrella for SKorea and Japan, you never know what will happen. And you don't want to take chances with N Korea there.
Japan's recent military buildup didn't begin until China's really took flight. Japan always has faced little threat from N Korea (besides the nuclear weapons); NK would have to cross a significant body of water to reach Japan, and lacks the capability, and Japan has more than enough conventional power to easily defeat NK. To deal with NK, Japan needs only anti-missile and anti-air capabilities to protect against nuclear weapons.
S Korea obviously is much more exposed to NK, but AFAIK their risk is not defeat to NK but losing very large numbers of civilians in Seoul, which the North holds hostage with massive, dug-in artillery batteries. That has been the North's deterrent against an SK invasion. I'm not sure if SK's military is growing.
I was referring to the "possible actions" that could have been taken against NK by China earlier, proposed by the parent comment.
On the other hand, your point would apply pretty well to China's response to South Korea's defense systems. (It's not just that China's calling it espionage; the article mentions serious hacking attacks.)
Basically on this matter, the Chinese government has taken a similar approach as the previous US administration, which is to not take actions. On hindsight of course it is easy to say China (Obama) should have done this or that. But it was quite hard to justify actions against NK until pretty recently. And indeed actions were taken in the form of economic sanctions in light of recent events.
The US have an embargo against North Korea, whereas the chinese are selling them materials to build their missiles with.
They could start by putting political pressure on them, levying trade sanctions and publicly denouncing their nuclear program.
North Korea’s Hydrogen Bomb Claim Strains Ties With China
JAN. 6, 2016
China announces sanctions against North Korea
5 April 2016
It is the radars that is the bigger issue because it diminishes China's nuclear projection in the region.
Maybe things aren't so bad elsewhere.
1. impeachment: Ultimate example of democracy at work. And no general stepped forward to declare he must rescue the nation from the chaos or did the society collapse. All institutions are working as they should. Unlikely to see such calm transition of power when a president is impeached in non-developed nations.
2. NK is NK, always firing missiles, even before all this.
3. S Korean govt is at least able to respond and/or have US willing to put in the weight to respond. Remember Ukraine?
No seriously, S Korea cannot be compared with other places with bad things happening now.