North Korea may have thought they would have the support of their backer China if they struck at the United States.
But China is disabusing them of any such belief, in no uncertain terms.
From Daily Wire:
The state-run Global Times wrote in an editorial, “China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral.”
However, should the U.S. and South Korea strike North Korea first, then “China will prevent them from” implementing regime change in North Korea.
China doesn’t want to see the balance of power in the region, which has left them on top, upset.
China opposes both nuclear proliferation and war in the Korean Peninsula. It will not encourage any side to stir up military conflict, and will firmly resist any side which wants to change the status quo of the areas where China’s interests are concerned. It is hoped that both Washington and Pyongyang can exercise restraint. The Korean Peninsula is where the strategic interests of all sides converge, and no side should try to be the absolute dominator of the region.
China is concerned about an attack on North Korea or an attempt at regime change because they are concerned about maintaining their balance in the region.
But another big potential problem they are afraid of is the vast numbers of North Koreas who may crash across the borders, trying to escape strikes.
So China is trying to play both the United States and North Korea.
Former UN Amb. John Bolton thinks that the U.S. could even use China’s fear of the North Korean regime failing to get them to agree to a reunification ultimately.
But what can’t be done is to be drawn into some long discussion and entering into some ineffective agreement like the Clinton 1994 agreement just to look like you’re doing something.