Så er det blevet den tid på året, hvor Nordkorea igen hopper rundt for at få international opmærksomhed. Nu med atomprøvesprængning. Men alt er ved det gamle. Og så alligevel. Kim Jong-un gennemførte atomtesten på trods af skarpe advarsler fra Kina, der er noget nær det nærmeste, som Nordkorea kommer en allieret. Forholdet mellem de to lande er ikke blevet bedre i det seneste år, tværtimod, og atomtesten er i høj grad også en test af Kinas tålmodighed, som jeg skriver i dagens Politiken (som du jo lige skal købe). Få også overblikket her på Kinablog med seks spørgsmål og svar.
Her er der tre gode analyser og links om Nordkorea, Kina og atomprøvesprængningen.
Foreign Policy og den altid skarpe Andrei Lankov slår fast, at Nordkorea er en atommagt. Sådan er det. Der er ikke andet at gøre, end at vænne sig til det.
It’s time to accept the obvious. In spite of all efforts to halt or slow down the process, North Korea will become a successfully nuclearized state. Once it achieves that goal, it will remain so for the foreseeable future. In order to prevent Pyongyang from further perfecting its nuclear and missile abilities the West must begin an earnest dialogue with the country’s leaders. The aim should be to reach an arms control agreement which implicitly accepts North Korea’s claim to being a nuclear power, while also limiting the size of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, and setting out a clear and specific means of controlling this arsenal. In other words, the pipe dream of denuclearization should be discarded; arms control is the only attainable goal.
Such a dialogue should be entered into with no illusions: North Korea has a proven track record of cheating, and they will try hard to cheat again this time. Pyongyang will sign such an arms control agreement only if the outside world is prepared to pay them for the privilege in the form of aid and other assistance, as it’s done in past negotiations. It is not a good compromise, but it’s the best option remaining — the result of decades of canny foreign policy maneuvering by North Korea’s leaders.
Somewhere, Kim Jong Il is smiling.
National Bureau of Asian Research og Nicholas Hamisevicz har glimrende analyse, som først gennemgår grundene til atomprøvesprængningen. Læs dem. Dernæst spørger han, hvad det siger om Kim Jong-un og hans påståede reformer.
North Korea’s response to the UNSC also gives little hope for significant economic reforms in the country. In April 2012, during the celebrations for the centennial of Kim Il-sung’s birth, Kim Jong-un gave a speech stating that the North Korean people should not have to “tighten their belts again and [should] enjoy the wealth and prosperity of socialism as much as they like.”  Statements like these from a new, young leader partially educated in Switzerland suggested that changes might be possible. In addition, rumors of agricultural policy reforms allowing farmers to keep more of their yield, changes to state-owned organizations connected to the “June 28 directive,” and trips by North Korean leaders to Southeast Asian nations in the middle of 2012 fueled speculation that North Korea might actually be doing something positive. Yet there is uncertainty among analysts over whether any of those changes have actually occurred, especially given that North Korea has backtracked on reforms before. 
Casting further doubt on Kim Jung-un’s desire for reform are statements in North Korean media specifically asserting that the regime will not undertake necessary changes. Last year, even before the buildup to the December 2012 rocket launch, a KCNA report presented a statement from a spokesperson from North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea arguing that “to expect ‘policy change’ and ‘reform and opening’ from the DPRK is nothing but a foolish and silly dream just like wanting the sun to rise in the west.”  More recently, a KCNA report about Kim Jong-un meeting with security and foreign affairs officials stated that the hostility from the United States and its allies has “thrown a grave obstacle to the efforts to be focused by the DPRK on economic construction so that the people may not tighten their belts any longer.”  This statement, which references a Kim Jong-un phrase often used by South Korean and Western analysts to support the position that the regime wants to reform, suggests that North Korea could hold back on reforms until it deals with the perceived threat from the United States and its allies. 
Financial Times har god artikel om, hvordan Nordkorea er en alvorlig prøve for Xi Jinping og kommer ind på, hvor meget indflydelse Beijing egentlig har over Pyongyang.
“Once again China had no significant impact on trying to get North Korea to follow the UN Security Council resolution,” says Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington and a former CIA analyst specialising in North Korea.
“This defiance of the UN Security Council shows that Kim Jong-eun is no different than his predecessors. He is no less belligerent, no less dangerous than his father and grandfather.”
Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, northeast Asia director at the International Crisis Group, says China’s leader Mr Xi is likely to take a tougher approach towards North Korea than his predecessor.
“[China’s] economic support to North Korea has brought few political returns, and that is what [Mr] Xi is going to have to consider right now.”