Beijing is on alert for any angry responses from North Korea to proposed new United Nations sanctions over the North's recent nuclear test and rocket launch, a Chinese diplomat said Monday.
The diplomat, who accompanied Foreign Minister Wang Yi during talks in Washington last week, said the two countries had agreed on the need for harsh sanctions against North Korea for defying U.N. resolutions.
Of course, how much of this is our smart diplomacy and how much is the dawning realization in Peking that a nuclear North Korea will prompt South Korea and perhaps Japan to go nuclear as well as build up anti-missile defenses is unclear to me.
But at least we haven't tried to bribe North Korea into giving up nukes, which doesn't seem to be on North Korea's agenda. Or our agenda, surprisingly enough.
Really, the situation up north has deteriorated enough that the question seems to be whether North Korea will experience regime collapse or state collapse.
And when a collapse comes.
And whether the North Koreans fire off nukes to either save themselves (somehow, in whatever logic they employ) or harm South Korea and Japan as long as Pyongyang is going down.