Still Cozy After All These Years
Beijing’s support for Pyongyang during the Korean War tells us why it still backs Kim today.
Sixty-five years ago, on June 25, 1950, the Soviet-equipped North Korean army struck south of the 38th parallel. The ensuing three years of seesaw warfare turned much of the Korean Peninsula into ashes: Up to 3 million Koreans were killed or wounded before the two sides signed a cease-fire in July 1953. Millions more were left to pick up pieces of their shattered, divided lives.
Today, the war’s most visible legacy is the continued existence of North Korea: 65 years later, it is still there, ringed by barbwire, bristling with tank guns and missile tips, a menace to itself and its neighbors. Much of the world eyes the Pyongyang regime with a mixture of revulsion and disdain, and pundits do not tire of predicting its coming collapse.