North Korea: Is Kim Jong-un Losing Support From China And Control Of The Hermit Nation

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could be losing control of the hermit nation, and it seems that Chinese support for the reclusive dictator may be evaporating. The North Korean regime has continued to defy U.S. President Donald Trump, and international pressure, over its development of nuclear weapons, and it seems that China has finally run out of patience. It is perhaps telling that President Trump tweeted his congratulations to China’s leader, Xi Jinping, in the wake of the Communist Party Congress earlier this week.

Trump congratulated Xi Jinping on his “extraordinary elevation” after the Chinese leader used the Congress to put himself into a unchallengeable position of authority in China. It seems extraordinary to see Trump, the ostensible leader of the free world, hail a leader for elevating himself to a position of dictatorship. It would seem that there may be other forces at play and Xi Jinping’s position on North Korea may lie at the heart of the issue.

According to CNBC, China’s leader has increasingly distanced his country from North Korea since Kim Jong-un took power in 2011. It is claimed that China sees the prospect of a nuclear North Korea as a threat to stability in Asia. China has long been North Korea’s only real ally and its major trading partner. Whilst China has not imposed sanctions on North Korea to the same degree as western nations, the Chinese have imposed some restrictions, and that will really hurt the North Korean economy.

Xi Jinping China North Korea
[Image by Ng Han Guan/AP Images]

As reported by the Daily Express, President Trump will meet with Xi Jinping when he tours Southeast Asia next month. Trump will be discussing trade arrangements and North Korea with the Chinese leader and will hope that he can convince Xi to bring all his influence to bear on Kim Jong-un.

It seems that relations with China may not be North Korea’s only problem. According to the Daily Star, younger people in North Korea are becoming increasingly disillusioned with “widespread poverty, famine, and poor living standards” in the isolated nation. They claim that Kim Jong-un has had to increase security patrols after murals and statues depicting his family dynasty have been attacked and vandalized. This may indicate that Kim Jong-un is under internal as well as international pressure.

The Daily Express claims that North Korea may be on the brink of civil war. Those claims may be far-fetched but many young North Korean’s may be wondering why Kim Jong-un is pursuing his nuclear weapons program while they go hungry.

[Featured Image by KRT/AP Images]