Hydrogen bomb test: How a growing North Korea is causing headache for China

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International politics essentially speaks about anarchy. Since there is no world government, the individual states have a perennial insecurity complex which push them to take the most dangerous route towards strengthening their defence and that is armament.

North Korea's reported Hydrogen bomb test of January 6 is such an example. And as expected, the reports have sent almost all quarters of international community into a tizzy.

A South Korean protester with a wooden stick beats an effigy of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a rally against North Korea's announcement that it had tested a hydrogen bomb, in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. The United States, South Korea and Japan agreed to launch a “united and strong” international response to North Korea’s apparent fourth nuclear test, as experts scrambled Thursday to find more details about the detonation that drew worldwide skepticism and condemnation.

Even the Chinese, known to be the biggest friend that North Korea has in the international world, are worried.

The contradictions of China-North Korea relation

The growing stature of the hermit kingdom under Kim Jong-un has increased China's worries over the years. Far from the days during the Korean War in the early 1950s when Mao Ze Dong had sent troops to help Pyongyang, the China-North Korea relation has its share of contradictions today.

While China wants a stable North Korea at its borders so that an implosion in that country doesn't pose a threat to itself, it also wants the latter not to overgrow and assert itself as that would draw more flak from other regional and international powers (Japan, South Korea and the US) threatening the Chinese in their own backyard.

North Korea hence has proved to be a double-edged sword for the Chinese, who want to use it as a buffer between itself and US allies like South Korea in the Asia Pacific.

North Korea's H-bomb test a serious worry for China

The reported H-bomb testing by North Korea is bound to have serious repercussions on the regional politics of Northeast Asia and eve Asia-Pacific. It will particularly put the Chinese interest under threat for a bellicose North Korea will draw attention of major world powers to that part of the world where the Chinese prefers to have their solo play.

But China will have a difficulty in dealing with the assertive North Korean leadership after the January 6 tests for the relation between the two countries has not been smooth, especially since the elimination of Jang Song-thaek, Pyongyang's No. 2 leader in December 2013, who was an important link between the two countries.

North Korea's subsequent recalling of its businessmen from China and the latter's warnings to the former over launching rockets added more the uneasiness between the two states. Recently, an all-girl band from North Korea cancelled its trip to China midway to return following differences with officials, signifying that even soft skills failed to break the growing ice.

Not easy for Chinese to rein in Kim Jong-un

It will be challenging today for the Chinese to rein in the ambitious Kim Jong-un, who hasn't yet visited China---a fact that runs contradictory to the traditional story of Beijing-Pyongyang bonhomie.

The North Koreans are perhaps perturbed over the improving relations between China and Japan and Japan and South Korea and hence planning to chart a course of action independent of Beijing (he had told a Chinese envoy in October last year that his country wants a better relation with South Korea). For the latter, it is not a good news.

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