After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

North Korea's nuclear test triggers social media firestorm in China: The SinoFile

And some are angry at the amount of humanitarian aid being funneled into what many are calling a rogue nation.

Did North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un pay China a New Year visit with this last battery of nuclear tests? Chinese netizens say so (Sina Weibo/ Victor601).

Chinese Web users are apparently fed up with North Korea, as a series of nuclear tests conducted just a river away Tuesday threatened to disrupt stability in the region. 

"If North Korea obtains nuclear weapons, South Korea will be upset. If South Korea obtains weapons, Japan will be upset. If Japan obtains nuclear weapons, China, Russia, Japan and the Koreas will all have nuclear weapons. This little piece of land (North Korea) is a horror," wrote user Xiaoxiao de Liu Xiansheng on Chinese Twitter-like social media site Sina Weibo. 

Well over 93 million users on Weibo were discussing the test by 5 a.m. the next day.

And it all started with what people thought to be an earthquake. China Earthquake Networks Center detected that the epicenter of a magnitude 4.9 earthquake that rocked the Northeast Asia Tuesday was in North Korea.

Hours later, South Korea's defense ministry announced hours later that the tremor was the result of a nuclear test conducted by its neighbors to the North. 

South Korea's President-elect Park Geun-hye had pledged to hold talks with Pyongyang officials, in an attempt to stave off armed conflict between the two Koreas -- which world maps, from both the North and South, often show as one undivided nation, as if to ignore omnipresent geopolitical threats. 

Two more in North Korea's battery of tests, which aim to develop a viable nuclear weapon, have been conducted since the South's declaration Tuesday. 

China -- North Korea's foremost supplier of lifesaving humanitarian aid and natural energies -- joined the international community in condemning Pyongyang. In recent years, the partnership has eroded, as the nation continued to defy agreements prohibiting nuclear proliferation, brokered by Beijing. 

The last, most prominent indicator of the downfall of Sino-DPRK relations came last May, when 29 Chinese fisherman were taken hostage for two weeks by North Korean nationals, requesting ransom money -- it is still uncertain from Chinese media coverage whether the captors were North Korean authorities or civilians. 

The event elicited a strong public outcry from North Korea's benefactors, particularly on the Internet. 

Chinese online discourse on North Korea has been fueled by contempt in recent years, as China has become a burgeoning economic powerhouse and North Korea, a recipient of its charity. It wasn't always like this, but now it's not uncommon to hear North Korea -- once considered part of a Chinese-led last bastion of socialist rule -- described as a "small dog" or the "spoiled child" of the People's Republic. 

"North Korea's nuclear test is a really terrible thing for China. F*ck, [three angry face emoticons]" wrote user Langbuchicao1991Xuzhou.

Various commentators appeared upset that Chinese aid continues to go to North Korea. North Korea receives half of its overall imports from China.

"China just funnels a huge wad of cash into [North Korean aid] each year," wrote one user, "And it's not so North Korea will make trouble for us."

Others joked that the nuclear test was something akin to the firecrackers that Chinese use to celebrate the Lunar New Year -- a holiday that it shares with its Korean neighbors. 

User Victor601 said the demo detonations and resulting earthquake were Pyongyang's way of keeping the custom of 拜年 (bainian, paying the traditional New Years visit to friends and family.)

Victor601 and countless other users posted this image along with the phrase: "North Korea sets off firecrackers to bainian to China." 

Here's another cartoon mocking North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un from user WoShiSamMin:


More in World

An Afghan story from a Greek refugee camp

While visiting an Afghan refugee family in their tent in Greece, my wife and  I came to understand the particular plight of families fleeing the chaos and violence in Afghanistan.   Canada...

Police Encourage Vigilance Following Attacks in Brussels

Vancouver – Police are encouraging the public and business owners and operators to remain vigilant following this morning’s attacks in Brussels, Belgium.  The threat level in Canada remains...

Canadians gather in B.C. to demand safe passage to Europe for Syrian refugees

VANCOUVER — A choir sings hymns of peace on a downtown Vancouver beach while a small dinghy gently coasts ashore and a dozen people in life jackets, including a young boy, alight onto the sand. The...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.