North Korea is run by a brutal little dictator who exists at the sole discretion of China. If they want him gone he is gone. It is that simple.
They have close ties with the regime and unlike anyone in the west, they have the ability to infiltrate the upper ranks of North Korean military to mount a bloodless coup.
So why don’t they?
Well there is some strategic advantage to having Little Kim act the fool.
Look at the trade negotiations Trump is having with them now. He is getting tough but he knows he will sacrifice some cash for peace and stability and the Chinese know this.
So North Korea and their little brutal dictator thought they had nothing to fear from China and moreover that China had their back.
Not so much says China, in a fatal blow to the Kim regime.
According to Reuters, a major Chinese newspaper and mouthpiece for the government released a statement that was not well received in North Korean bomb shelters.
If North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States China will stay neutral, but if the United States attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea’s government China will step in.
That’s the message from the Chinese state-run newspaper. The widely read state-run Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s said,
“It needs to make clear its stance to all sides and make them understand that when their actions jeopardize China’s interests, China will respond with a firm hand. China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral. If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”
This neutral stance is not welcome news in North Korea who was counting on a strong show of support from the Chinese government.