Pyongyang Issues New Threats As China-Japan Tensions Increase
North Korea Pledges “Sledge-Hammer” Retaliation For South Korean Protests North Korea threatened South Korea that it was prepared to launch “sledge-hammer blows” if its neighbor did not apologize for protests held on Monday. According to a televised statement issued on Tuesday, North Korea said its “retaliatory action will start without any notice from now as such the thrice-cursed criminal act of hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership.”
Foreign Policy Analysts Discuss North Korea – Part One
The Federation of American Scientists gathered a group of foreign policy analysts together to answer questions about the regime in Pyongyang and how the West might better understand its thinking.
Tensions Increase Between China And Japan
For months tensions have been high in the East China Sea as China and Japan continue a dispute over a group of islands, which China calls Diaoyu and Japan refers as Senkakus.
China issued a broad warning to its neighbors to “stop activities that undermine China’s territorial sovereignty” and Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun put a finer point on the warning when he stated that China and its armed forces “are capable and determined to safeguard the sovereignty of the islands.”
While not in specific terms, a defense white paper released by China on Tuesday clearly implied the US was the root of tensions in Asia were a consequence of US involvement.
Analysts Remained Concerned About China-Iran Alliance
According to John Park of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the relationship between China and Iran has grown from Iran providing cash assistance to North Korea to sharing technical data and procuring specialized components from abroad in defiance of United Nations and Western sanctions.
“Emerging out of very different tumultuous histories, the authoritarian governments centered in Beijing and Tehran share an animus towards “hegemonism” and a fear of internal instability. They pronounce support for developing nations’ solidarity and position themselves as leaders of the non-aligned,” says a report produced in October 2012 for the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
The paper notes that some analysts believe the relationship will continue to be “limited” because, despite their shared dislike of the US, China may have more to lose than gain in siding with Iran under current conditions.