WASHINGTON—In the aftermath of last week’s nuclear test by North Korea—allegedly of a hydrogen bomb—experts suggest the time is now for the United States to apply overwhelming pressure on China so as to force it into giving up the rough Kim regime and put an end to its seemingly-endless provocations and aggression.
Dan Blumenthal, director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said on Tuesday that it is possible for the United States and China to reach an agreement over the future of the Korean Peninsula, provided that United States “makes China feel so much pain over its relationship with North Korea” so that China would eventually give up its support for the totalitarian Kim Jong-un regime.
Among a panel of experts that participated in the discussion on U.S.-South Korea strategy hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Sept. 5, all agreed that a unification of the Korean Peninsula under the democratic rule of the South Korea should be desired “end goal” for both the United States and South Korea. However, Dan Blumenthal was the most vocal when it came to advocating a hardline policy against China over its support for North Korea.
“What we need to do, and what we have done effectively, is to scare China,” said Dan Blumenthal, “[The United States should] make China very scared, and on its heels about what we are going to do, and what we are capable of doing.”
Blumenthal also said that Trump’s approach to North Korea is more or less on the right trajectory: “The policy adopted by the Trump administration right now is to tie North Korea as a liability for China, to make China feel so much pain for its relations with North Korea,” said Blumenthal, “at some point China would say, enough is enough.”
“China will help get rid of Kim regime, and give him a nice villa in Shenyang, with Dennis Rodman as his companion,” said Blumenthal.
After North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sunday, President Trump vowed that the United States will stop all trade with any country doing business with North Korea. China is currently North Korea’s biggest trading partner. Previously Trump has said many times that he was “disappointed” in China for not helping stop North Korea’s nuclear aggressions.
Michael Green, the senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at CSIS, said that he would substitute the word “incentivize” for the word “scare.” However, Green also acknowledged that China needs to be compelled to change through a forcible approach, such as building the fear of a U.S. attack [on North Korea] in the minds of the Chinese regime rulers.
Other experts expressed more doubt over the possibility that the Chinese regime’s behavior could be changed. Laura Rosenberger, Director of Alliance for Securing Democracy said, “I am more pessimistic on it. We forget that [the Chinese regime] has a communist party leadership. That’s an existential issue.”