Many people don't seem to realize this. China does NOT want NOrth Korea to go away. Yes. It's true they want North Korea to stop shooting off missiles and stop doing nuclear tests. This much is true.
But, they don't want their people exposed in China to successful South Koreans and the success they have made of democracy on the Chinese Border. This would ONLY make things much worse for China.
If you think of China as a bomb that is always waiting to explode somewhere in China, this is the way it has already been for thousands of years. Human rights have Always been a sham in China for Thousands of years. The poorer people in their culture have always been encouraged to die off soon to make room for more people. It has always been this way. So, if you don't get and education somehow and make something of yourself in China you can just expect not to get married and to maybe die young, especially if you are a man. This is just a given for all Chinese people under Middle Class in status.
So, in this sense China (For about 700 Million People of the 1.4 Billion who actually live there) is a literal death trap in many ways and has been for thousands of years already.
So, China cannot afford to have the South Korean success on any of their border to be seen by Chinese people. The HAVE to have North Korea there that is somewhat like China only a bad failure with much much worse human rights problems than China. They simply cannot afford to have a successful democracy on any of their border at all.
Understanding this you then understand why China isn't going to solve the problem of North Korea.
So, if North Korea is solved it will be by South Korea, Japan or the U.S. and Europe. These likely are the only countries that can fix the problem of North Korea now because China cannot afford to solve the problem of North Korea itself and stay a viable country without everything in China likely going awry. So, the likelihood is one day North Korea will nuke either South Korea or Japan or Hawaii and then South Korea, Japan and the U.S. will solve this problem once and for all.
But, China is not going to like this solution at all because this solution might be the permanent undoing of China in the long run.
Because just like Tibet was sealed off from the world until around 1950, China has also sealed itself off from the rest of the world in some ways too. And North Korea being solved will likely create more problems than solutions for China in the short and long run after this happens.
The only question here is "When?"
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