SPOGBOLT   |   Location: Newfoundland, Canada

October 12, 2006

China planning to take over N. Korea?

This item from The Korea Times, 'China Distorts History to Prepare for North's Collapse', does not seem to have attracted attention in the Western media. It reports that Dr. Andrei Lankov, a professor of East Asian history in South Korea, has observed that China has been publishing a series of articles claiming that the Koguryo and Palhae kingdoms, from one to two thousand years ago, which had territory in both northern Korea and China, were part of ancient China. This "history offensive" began in 2003. Lankov believes that this probably indicates that China is preparing for an intervention in North Korea following the collapse of that country, with articles such as these being used as psychological and cultural justifications for it. The North Korean élite might welcome the installation of a Chinese puppet regime in Pyongyang, Lankov suggests, as this is the only way they would be likely to preserve their privileged position in the event of a national collapse. (Via Google News.)

See also Lankov's "Legacy of long-gone states" in the Asia Times (Sep. 16).

Robert Kaplan, writing in October's Atlantic Monthly, is thinking along somewhat similar lines. (" . . . China's infrastructure investments are already laying the groundwork for a Tibet-like buffer state in much of North Korea, to be ruled indirectly through Beijing's Korean cronies once the [N. Korean régime] unravels.")

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