Changchun, China — “We are all on a train heading for our death. The train is being driven by China. The driver plans to jump from the train after letting the cars, in which we (North Korea), South Chosun, Japan and the U.S. are riding, fall off a cliff.”
And that is how Choi expressed North Korean elite thinking about China.
Choi was a professor in a university, a man who studied the social sciences in North Korea for two decades, but now he is a trader in China.
The North Korean elite’s anti-Chinese sentiment that he described came as a real shock. Nevertheless, he said that although he has a more critical point of view of the Kim Jong Il regime than his colleagues, in general, opinions of China are the same as his own.
China has a so-called blood alliance with North Korea, is a country which fought for the North during the Korea War, and is the current life support system which provides it with the basic resources to maintain its system. After the second nuclear test, as international sanctions were being strengthened, Pyongyang tried to maintain its friendship with China in order to avoid isolation.
However, Choi did not hesitate to say, “China is more vicious than America,” before explaining, “We have been standing against America so far, but now people worry about living as a slave of China.”
When The Daily NK’s reporter asked why China is blocking out the pressure from neighboring countries, including the U.S., he noted, “This is only because they need to do it for the sake of their interests, not for our security.”
He added, “This is not just my idea, but that of almost every intellectual.” He implied that significant concerns about the contradiction between Kim Jong Il’s nuclear plans and the Chinese role exist.
So, he claims, “Since he figured out the Chinese tactics, the Upper (Kim Jong Il) has been doing his best to escape from that situation.”
◆ Virtual scenarios which concern the North Korean elite
Choi mentioned, “Since the nuclear test, the wariness of university students and intellectuals towards China has risen. Many of them think that we will be spoiled by China.”
He emphasized, “The Chinese strategy towards our possession of nuclear weapons is to place itself as a world leader, surpassing the U.S. by using the Kim Jong Il regime. China is using our Republic’s adventurism.”
Choi pointed out, “China has manipulated us to increase our stockpiles of nuclear weapons and missiles in practice while pretending to put pressure on us from the outside. On the one hand, they lead North Korea to obtain more nuclear weapons and missile by increasing the sense of crisis on the Korean Peninsula. On the other hand, they let us breathe so that the Kim Jong Il regime doesn’t collapse.
(To be continued)