China-North Korea: China offered to help North Korea control cross-border crime and build law-enforcement forces, according to a report by Agence France-Presse on 12 August. A spokesman also said China provided military equipment to North Korea’s National Defense Commission during a visit by China’s Deputy Public Security Minister Liu Jing on 8 August.
North Korea’s Security Ministry staff and a Chinese public security delegation met on 12 August, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
NIGHTWATCH Comment: The reports are intermittent in the public media, but cumulatively they establish a pattern of China using economic and law enforcement linkages to tie North Korea more tightly. When North Korean leadership has been strong, it strongly and successfully has resisted Chinese initiatives. That does not appear to be the case at this time. China’s admission of providing “military equipment” is unusual and rare. The actors mentioned in the report suggest the reference is to crowd control equipment.
Phi Beta Iota: Hybrid and M4IS2 (along with bottom-up self-governance) will be the defining attributes of local to global governance in the 21st Century. The USA has consistently made the mistake of selling arms and withholding information sharing and intelligence capacity building (providing stealable funds does not count). A mix of hybrid bi-lateral (such as Australian-Cambodian task forces on human trafficking) and hybrid multi-lateral (e.g. a regional intelligence centre for Central America) will flip the international relations and national security paradigms.