An Inconvenient Border: Where China Meets North Korea

An Inconvenient Border: Where China Meets North Korea

2017, Society  -   8 Comments
Ratings: 7.55/10 from 51 users.

As tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to fester, China's role has become more imperative than ever in restoring hospitable relations and a peaceful balance. In An Inconvenient Border: Where China Meets North Korea, ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff travels the 880-mile border shared by China and North Korea, and hears valuable perspectives on their delicate and complex relationship.

At one time, these two countries shared a harmonious collaboration. The partnership began to disintegrate with the ascendancy of Kim Jong-Un in 2012. Notoriously reclusive, the North Korean leader has made precious few attempts at outreach to Chinese president Xi Jinping, even though his country remains strongly dependent upon China for trade. Evidence of this is present throughout the film, including a segment that explores a uniting bridge - set in place during the previous regime - which now sits abandoned.

Interviews with Chinese citizens confirm a feeling of suspicion towards their neighboring country. As curious onlookers peer through binoculars at seemingly mundane activities taking place across the border, they're warned not to snap photos or in any way agitate the North Koreans.

Of course, recent headlines have alerted the world that all activities are not banal on the other side of that border. It appears as though Kim Jong-Un has become increasingly unhinged, and his relentless nuclear tests have further inflamed the patience and tenor of relations in the region. On some sections of the border, the Chinese have felt the tremors of each blast, stoking great fear and greater hopes for a peaceful resolution.

The film offers viewers an inside look at the trade operations that continue to thrive in spite of recently announced sanctions, the thousands of Chinese military who stand ready at the border to thwart approaching defectors from the other side, and the startlingly beautiful vistas that separate both countries.

An Inconvenient Border: Where China Meets North Korea is most illuminating in its portrayal of prevailing Chinese attitudes towards North Korea and its questionable tactics as of late. Each interview subject shares their thoughts and concerns over the recent slate of missile tests, the motivations that they believe may drive the North Korean dictator, and the possibilities of avoiding additional escalations of this frightening conflict.

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3 years ago

why is it necessary to have the dirge accompanying what could have been a very good documentary? I can find music(?) docs elsewhere.

5 years ago

It is in China's interest to keep the two Koreas divided. China's worst nightmare would be having a common border with a Western pro United States country.

5 years ago

Germany was divided after the 2nd World War. People living in East Germany & West Germany are Germans. They speak the same language. They are alike and one day they were United. After unification, Germany is the most powerful economy in Europe. People across the globe look upon Germany with great respect. Similarly, people living in North Korea and South Korea are alike. They have much in common. They speak the same language. The president of South Korea is right in solving the dispute through dialogue. Yes, Korea would be a very powerful economy in Asia if it was a united country. Let us pray that Korea becomes a United Korea. Best Wishes.

Atul Mamtora
5 years ago

Excellent overview of CHINA-NK border.

5 years ago

Just as an added note, any country that doesn't allow its citizens to freely traverse its borders and travel to other countries, is ruled by a dictatorship that needs to be removed. And if China cared about the welfare of DPRK citizens instead of their power-mad and paranoid dictator, you would not have "the thousands of Chinese military who stand ready at the border to thwart approaching defectors from the other side." Instead, China would be welcoming escaping refugees from DPRK with open arms!

5 years ago

Correction to Harun: DPRK depends on China! North and South Koreans would like nothing better than to reunite their countries and get rid of the DMZ and the political leaders who stand in the way, much as the Germans had to destroy the wall (and USSR leadership) to rejoin their split country. The western world needs simply (or not so simply) to stop purchasing Chinese goods until China exerts it's extensive influence to bring about change in DPRK leadership, and allow North Koreans to leave the early 20th century and join the rest of the world in the 21st century. In the long run, mass servitude of entire populations to a ruling few didn't work for USSR, won't work for China or North Korea, and won't work for the USA (which is another developing story). Dictatorships will eventually be overthrown, no matter how powerful their supporters. Saudi Arabia is next, with DPRK soon to follow, regardless of paid internet trolls like Harun.

5 years ago

Regarding to the DPRK, China should just let the USA and the UN know that the dispute is between USA, Japan and the DPRK. China should tell them it is their problem and leave China out of it. Sometimes you ask yourself why the DPRK has no problems with all other nations accept USA and Japan. I think the answer is that during the Japanese war and the Korean wars, these armies wholesale massacre their civilians whenever there are. Now they will have to face up to it. China, don't get dragged into this.