Friday, September 23, 2016

A Bridge to Nowhere--Because Kim Jong-Un Isn't Stupid

A bridge that would link China to Pyongyang along a major highway to Pyongyang remains incomplete:

Towering above the murky waters, the New Yalu River Bridge was supposed to symbolize a new era in relations between China and North Korea, helping bring investment to landmark free trade zones jointly run with the impoverished and isolated state.

Costing 2.2 billion yuan ($330 million) and partially completed last year, the dual-carriageway bridge today sits abandoned, the impressive border post on the Chinese side deserted and locked, not a soul to be seen.

On the North Korean side the unfinished bridge ends abruptly in a field, with little sign of infrastructure work happening.

North Korea would be stupid to finish that bridge given that the North Korean army is mostly deployed along the DMZ with South Korea and the bridge would be a vital route into North Korea for an invading Chinese army:

So if there is a dispute among the powers about who should administer a collapsed North Korean state, China is making sure that the main highway into North Korea allows the Chinese army to rapidly drive south to Pyongyang.

And from there, the Chinese army can fan out to other parts of North Korea to various provincial capitals.

Not finishing that bridge is a feature and not a bug of the North Korean regime.