North Korean prolif spurs US-Sino cooperation – shared goals incentivize better relations
Song, 13 – staff writer (Sang-ho, “Boost in global cooperation a silver lining around NK's rising belligerence”, June 14, 2013, The Korea Herald/Asia News Network, The China Post, http://www.chinapost.com.tw/commentary/the-china-post/special-to-the-china-post/2013/06/14/381170/p2/Boost-in.htm)//AE
North Korea's aberrant behavior defying international norms has led to an increasingly tight and systematic cooperation among all concerned countries including its only major ally China.¶ Although its policy strategy toward Pyongyang may remain unchanged, Beijing has recently become a major supporter of global sanctions for the recalcitrant neighbor's nuclear and missile tests.¶ Once magnanimous with its largess to its impoverished brethren, Seoul has also been an increasingly tough partner, steadfastly urging it to abide by international standards in handling bilateral issues.¶Such unfavorable external conditions indicated that the pattern of the North saber-rattling, seeking dialogue and getting diplomatic and economic concessions seemed to be falling apart, experts noted.¶ The cancellation this week of high-level inter-Korean talks underscored that Seoul would no longer engage in bilateral talks just for the sake of talks. While haggling over the organization of the delegations, the two Koreas cancelled the two-day talks in Seoul scheduled to begin Wednesday.¶ “On the back of high approval ratings, President Park Geun-hye has some leeway on North Korean issues,” said Kim Ho-sup, an international politics professor at Chung-Ang University.¶ “Plus, China is becoming more supportive of South Korea (ahead of Park's summit with President Xi Jinping later this month) and pressuring the North in recognition of Washington's concerns over the North's nuclear proliferation.”¶ Above all, the greatest source of concern for the reclusive regime is apparently Beijing's active support of anti-Pyongyang sanctions, which is resulting in the institutionalization of global responses to the North's provocations, observers noted.¶ China has supported the recent U.N. Security Council sanctions to punish the North for its third nuclear test in February and stopped doing business with some of the North's key financial institutions.¶ This move comes in part because the North could pose a grave challenge to the global nonproliferation regime supported both by the U.S. and China if its nuclear ambitions are not constrained.¶Washingtonhas long been concerned about the voluntary or involuntary proliferation of nuclear materials to non-state actors such as terrorists or other extremist groups by a failing or failed regime in Pyongyang.¶ “Since 2006, the North has carried out three nuclear tests and in that process Pyongyang has undermined China's strategic interests. That is part of the reason why China has increasingly participated in those U.N. sanctions against the North,” said Chung Sung-yoon, a research professor at Ilmin International Relations Institute of Korea University.¶ “What is notable is that the sanctions China participated in are top-level sanctions similar to the global sanctions imposed on Iran, and that China is seeking to deepen cooperation with the U.S. and South Korea amid its participation in those.”¶ During their first summit in California, presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping concurred that the North should give up its nuclear programs, unnerving the North which proclaimed itself a nuclear-armed state in its constitution last year.¶“They agreed that North Korea has to denuclearize, that neither country would accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state and that we would work together to deepen cooperation and dialogue to achieve denuclearization,” Obama's national security adviser Tom Donilon told reporters.¶ China's support for U.S. efforts to maintain the proliferation regime could signal that Beijing wants Washington to respect its core interests such as Taiwan and other issues while it supports the world's nuclear order, observers said.¶ Pyongyang's nuclear saber-rattling amid the worsening external environment has raised questions of whether the fledgling leadership has any trouble thinking rationally to maximize its national interests.¶ Some argued the decades-old dictatorial governing structure ─ based on the Kim dynasty and elites maintaining their vested interests ─ poses constraints that young ruler Kim Jong-un might have found insurmountable.¶“North Korea has the dynastic, communist and dictatorial ruling system, which has been consolidated over the past nearly seven decades. It appears that Kim's personal capacity has yet to overcome these structural constraints,” said Huh Moon-young, a senior fellow at the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification.¶ Bruce Bennett, senior researcher at the RAND Corporation, argued that to bring about change that would lead to reunification, Seoul should seek to communicate to the North Korean elites that life after unification will be in their best interests.¶“They will share in the Korean economic plenty, have broad access to education including college, and only those guilty of serious human rights violations will be subjected to judicial punishments. While such offers may seem overly generous, they may be necessary to secure North Korean support for unification,” he said in a recent opinion piece in The Korea Herald.