Four kilograms to tip the scale China's exploitation of the North Korean nuclear crisis
Ives, John M.
Miller, Alice L.
Olsen, Edward A.
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China has incentives to exploit the North Korean nuclear crisis to exact diplomatic, economic and security advantages. The inherent dangers involved in the crisis (that it sparks a nuclear cascade or regional proliferation of nuclear weapons, that Japan will build a more offensive military as a deterrent, that North Korea could explosively collapse, or that the United States will preemptively strike Pyongyang and start a regional conflict) do not completely constrain China's foreign policy decisions. Furthermore, Beijing enjoys a certain coercive influence over Pyongyang as the old "lips and teeth" relationship eroded to one of mild indifference or embarrassment allowing China to exploit its little brother. To this end, the crisis offers Beijing opportunities at gaining regional leadership, greater economic development, and affords certain positive consequences for the Taiwan issue.
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