The Puppet Master

My name is Daniel. I was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published four books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                             Until this year, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had never set foot outside
of North Korea when he became the anointed ruler of the country. Now, all of sudden, he is going
back and forth to China. He has done so twice in the same year to meet with Chinese ruler Xi
Jinping. But why now? Because there is no question that Chinese leader Xi Jinping wants complete
coordination between what Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump may talk about. Both
Xi and Kim also want to map out a strategy to force concessions from the United States. Whatever
Kim may think of the Chinese, he desperately needs them to keep North Korea afloat and to agree
with what North Korea will do. In that sense, Xi Jinping is the ultimate puppet master—pulling the
strings so that China will get something from the United States as well. None of this should come
as a surprise given the fact that North Korea has no other official ally. In truth, Kim MUST kowtow
to the Chinese for whatever he does. One tiny example was the tragic bus accident where 32 Chinese
tourists and four North Koreans were killed. Kim Jong-un made an unusual official visit to the
survivors of this particular accident. The reason why has emerged with the details of who those
Chinese tourists were. They were families and relatives of those whose family members were
killed in the Korean War, and prominent among those on this tour was the grandson of former
Chinese ruler Mao Zedong Mao Xinyu (who was also among those killed). North Korea may claim
that it owes no one anything, but in the end it must please China and will never be truly independent
of its puppet master.