Greetings from peaceful Dandong; yes it really is quiet and peaceful here.
With all the news these days about our neighbour I thought I would put my 2 RMB worth in, good news that is.
In my opinion, all the news you see about the North is mostly a lot of talk. I know it seems like far more but this kind of thing has gone on for years. Granted the rhetoric is a bit harsher these days but in the end little or nothing will come of it. We often have reporters coming to Dandong to get the low-down on things across the river in Sinijiu and North Korea. People come asking about trade, the current situation and we even have the US and Canadian embassies coming here for coffee to “talk”; they tend to end up at “Peter’s Coffee House”. I guess they figure here is closer to the “source” and they might get a better handle on things by coming here.
Let me say no one wants a war and I’m convinced there won’t be one. If anything small happens, and if it does it will be very small, it will be far far from here.
This past week I met the London Times here (UK) as well as an Italian news agency; they drank quite a few Espressos. Last week a small delegation from the US consulate came by; not just because of the good coffee either.
It’s good to remember that it’s China that keeps North Korea afloat. Something like 70% of the North Korea’s trade goes across the Yalu River Bridge that is within 1/2 km of Peter’s Coffee House, which I’m looking at it as I write. I’m convinced that North Korea will do nothing to “bite the hand that feeds it”.
There is a saying for China and the North that they are; “As close as lips and teeth”. I know it sounds funny but that’s the translation. It just means they have been close friends for a very long time.
Right now the China side of the “lips and teeth” is a bit peeved, maybe a lot peeved, with their neighbour and friend. China does not want instability on the Korean peninsula and will do everything to prevent it; believe me they have the capability.
A comment this weekend from Xi jing Ping appears aimed at North Korea. He said’ “No country “should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain”, President Xi Jinping told a forum on the southern Chinese island of Hainan. He did not name North Korea but he appeared to refer to Pyongyang.” See: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/08/us-korea-north-idUSBRE93408020130408
It’s really business as usual here in Dandong. There is no perceptible difference in activity. Tourists are still coming, trade still goes on daily, trains still across the Yalu river Bridge daily and everyday life continues normally.
So don’t worry there will be no no war. It’s just a lot of rhetoric and bluster; ie. hot air. We actually could use some hot air here, it’s kind of cold here today.
I’ve gotta go, there is a hot Latte waiting for me!