I just happened across this article and found it simply amazing.
For those of you who don’t want to go read it, basically China has been sending aid (food and fuel) to North Korea on trains. Well, China sent a train full of supplies to North Korea and North Korea now refuses to give the train back. The North Koreans are claiming that the train the supplies came on is part of the aid package and will not give the train back to China. North Korea sent the train crew back across the border and kept the train, apparently because the North Korean rail system is falling apart.
What makes this even more interesting is that China has been increasing their investment in NK by a huge amount (percentage wise) in recent years. Chinese investment in NK went from 1.1 million in 2003 to 85 or 90 million this year.
So now we have NK doing the missle tests which are pissing off a large number of people and NK stealing a train from China, which appears to be one of NKs biggest supporters.
It seems to me that Kim came to the conclusion that with their nuclear weapons and missles that he can now do whatever he wants. This is a problem because the NK economy is pathetic and with China halting the aid it is going to put more pressure on the Korean population. At some point either Kim can a) give up the train and missles and play nice to get more aid b) keep the train and possibly piss the Chinese off to the point where they do not restart the aid which would cause big problems for the average Korean, possibly leading to some sort of rebellion c) start a war with someone to steal what they cannot make due to their wacked economic policies.
So, what is Kim trying to do? Is this another bluff to get more stuff? What is the most likely Chinese response?
Note, I don’t know a heck of a lot about NK, other than that Kim is a nutball.