China May Back Coup Against North Korean Regime
THE Chinese are openly debating "regime change" in Pyongyang after last week's nuclear test by their confrontational neighbour.
Diplomats in Beijing said at the weekend that China and all the major US allies believed North Korea's claim that it had detonated a nuclear device. US director of national intelligence John Negroponte circulated a report that radiation had been detected at a site not far from the Chinese border.
The US may have employed highly classified satellite technology to detect tiny leaks of gas or elements associated with nuclear detonation, according to a diplomatic source in the Chinese capital. This would explain Washington's reluctance to explain the findings in public.
The Chinese Government has been ultra-cautious in its reaction. However, since Monday, Foreign Ministry officials have started to make a point of distinguishing between the North Korean people and their Government in conversations with diplomats.
More than one Chinese academic agreed that China yearned for an uprising similar to the one that swept away the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989 and replaced him with communist reformers and generals. The Chinese made an intense political study of the Romanian revolution and even questioned president Ion Iliescu, who took over, about how it was done and what roles were played by the KGB and by Russia.