China’s attempts to strengthen ties with North Korea could pose a serious threat to global security, according to a Western defence expert.
This week Pyongyang held celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the armistice that brought fighting to an end in the Korean War.
Both China and Russia sent high-level delegations to North Korea’s capital to join in the festivities and hold talks with the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
The Russian team was led by the Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, while China’s representatives were headed by a leading member of the politburo, Li Hongzhong.
The guests were treated to a spectacular military parade, that included a display of some of Kim’s most powerful nuclear-capable missiles, as well as new attack drones.
China’s presence at the parade has alarmed Western analysts, who believe Beijing is using their Korean ally to destabilise the world.
Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said: “China’s representation at North Korea’s parading of nuclear-capable missiles raises serious questions about Beijing enabling Pyongyang’s threats to global security.”
His warning comes as Japan said on Friday that North Korea posed a more serious threat to its national security than “ever before”.
In its annual white paper, Japan’s Defence Ministry claimed the world was entering a “new era of crisis” and urged the government to substantially increase military spending.
China’s growing military might and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were major focuses of the white paper.
During this week’s celebrations, Kim was filmed showing Shoigu some of his country’s intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), capable of delivering nuclear payloads.
These included the new Hwasong-17 and Hwasong-18 ICBMs which were recently flight-tested and can reach deep into US territory.
Kim’s decision to give Shoigu a personal tour of his new weapons was described as “remarkable” by an expert on North Korea.
Ankit Panda of the U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: “We’ve come a long way from when North Korea would avoid showing off its nuclear capabilities when senior foreign dignitaries from Russia and China were in town.
“The personal tour for Shoigu – and Shoigu’s willingness to be photographed with Kim in the course of this tour – is evidence that Moscow is complacent with North Korea’s ongoing nuclear modernisation.”
Pyongyang has been actively updating its nuclear arsenal, as well as developing new weapon systems.
* Article From: Express Online