Korea at war: What’s it all about?
The hostility in the Korean Peninsula has a lot of countries very nervous, including the United States and North Korea's principal ally, China.
President Obama is fighting two wars, he doesn't need a third. And, China doesn't want to see a war because it would get a flood of refugees from the North and lose a trading partner.
According to many international security experts what's going on here is more about a war internally in the North, than a war externally with the South which is allied with the United States.
“I would suggest they're not ready to go to war, they can't sustain it economically and if they were to go to war they would go away, so that is not what I would call regime survival,” said International Security Expert, Ron Bee.
The Kim Dynasty has ruled North Korea since 1948. Kim Il-sung, the “great leader,” then his son Kim Jong Il, the “dear leader,” and now the anointed 28-year old son Kim Jong, who was recently elevated to a 4-star General though he has no military experience.
The shelling earlier this week was to win the military's support for the new 28-year old successor. The history of the Kim Dynasty is to remain isolated while challenging the big powers for concessions because their economy is in a shambles.
The only way they can do this is to start these incidents but it's unfortunate because they actually killed people this time, as it did in march when they sank a ship.
Another example is their nuclear program. The United States has had several agreements with them to give up their nuclear activities, they've exploded two nuclear bombs.
Then last week they announced they were processing radioactive uranium. That's in addition to their plutonium processing, they want to make deals so that they can stay in power and they also at the same time want to snub the United States and South Korea.
This puts China on the spot, as well. China holds 75-billion dollars of U.S. debt, and North Korea is an ally and principal trading partner. 75% of trade with North Korea comes with China. China is keeping North Korea afloat economically, they don't want war because they're gonna see refugees coming to China.
There are a number of reasons that argue against an all out war, but for now, China is searching for middle ground. It's caught between backing its ally, North Korea, or challenging the United States.