Back in September I posted against Aiden Foster Carter's (a senior research fellow of Modern Korea at Leeds University) view that influence over North Korea is prized over that over South Korea -- a slightly more academic version of a political view that embraced the Sunshine Policy.
In August China loudly complained against the proposed deployment of the largest aircraft carrier in the world -- the U.S.S. George Washington -- in the Yellow Sea. The United States minded these concerns when China had just condoned North Korea's sinking of the South Korea's Cheonan by deploying the U.S.S. George Washington off the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula rather than off the western coast.
I earlier bet that:
Consider that as a result of the Cheonan fiasco -- from none other than a Sinocentric point of view -- the huge cost for China has been South Korea. I would think the ultimate end game for China -- again from a Sinocentric point of view -- is to dominate East Asia, which includes kicking out or splintering the U.S.-Japan and U.S-ROK alliances and unifying with Taiwan. The end game for China is not about paying for North Korean food, roads, and ports and extracting natural resources that North Korea may have. The real gold is elsewhere.
I'd bet that North Korea surely sees this too and would love at any cost to get the United States to guarantee the security of the country any day over the Chinese. In the meantime, China will continue to feed North Korea, build North Korean roads and ports, and bring the northern half of the peninsula out of the dark ages all of which North Korea will not be grateful for. After all, China is doing this for self-serving reasons.
And, now it seems quite clear that North Korea on the flip side would rather transfer Chinese aid in exchange for a grand bargain with the United States.
China was rewarded with a November deployment of the U.S.S. George Washington in the Yellow Sea after North Korea attacked South Korean troops deployed in Yeonpyong Island in the Yellow Sea. Influence over North Korea doesn't seem to be much of a blessing. Doubts about how North Korea was lost to China VERIFIED.Most political analysts in Seoul said the most likely scenario was that the North had decided to bide its time while waiting to see whether its attack last month would pressure South Korea and the United States into talks, and possibly even concessions. They said this was a recurring pattern in the North’s unique brand of brinkmanship: making a provocation in hopes of forcing the other side to the bargaining table.
By the way, I did suppose that there wouldn't be another North Korean act of provocation, but more on that later...