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Dancing with the Dragon: China, North Korea and Regime Change

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Technical Report

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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If there is one thing that Kim Jung Il is good at, it is capturing the attention of the world by generating a crisis.1 North Koreas recent missile and nuclear tests demonstrate this fact.2 These tests have not only spawned a great deal of angst among the United States US and her allies, but surprisingly in China as well. Clearly, China is not pleased with these actions especially since she was heavily engaged in the six party talks hoping to keep Kim Jung Ils regime nuclear free.3North Koreas intransigence on the nuclear issue and corresponding inflammatory rhetoric raised questions if Kims provocations would result in a conflict with the US or the Republic of Korea RoK. Any military clash could escalate into a replay of the Korean War, though this time, dragging two nuclear-armed powers into a direct conflict with one another. Additionally, Kims seemingly erratic behavior generated questions if he was fully in control of the government or himself. Obviously, Kims successful nuclear tests werent the desired outcome for China or the US.

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