Originally Posted by ERhoosier
I tend to agree with this China-as-older-wiser brother philosophy, EXCEPT that I do not see how China became better off by allowing this bizarre bunch in NK to develop their own nukes
Makes me think China does not have the influence over NK that many think it has.
While China may have been strange bedfellows with Kim Jong Il, they didn't have control over him. It would have been in NK's best interest to develop their own nuke capability to use it to threaten the West and get bribes (as well as for their own military might), and I doubt China could have done anything too overt to 'force' NK to abandon nuclear capabilities, since you can only push a self-obsessed neighboring dictator so far.
Besides - China isn't really an ally to the US, so having a regional nuclear state (with one hell of a military) on your 'side' is kind of a plus to China with the balance of power equation, even if NK is run by someone that may appear to be at times unstable.