Study proposes US, China zones in collapsed North Korea
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States (US) should consider negotiating a separation line with China in a collapsed North Korea, a study said on Thursday, warning of catastrophic consequences if Mr Kim Jong Un's regime suddenly falls.
The report by Rand Corp, a prominent US research institute, said that the crumbling of the totalitarian state could trigger a new, severe famine as well as a human rights crisis in a country that holds hundreds of thousands of prisoners.
The US and its ally South Korea would almost certainly intervene, causing alarm in China, which is North Korea's primary ally, the study said.
China, whose perceived interests include stemming the flow of refugees and preventing US forces from approaching its border, could also send troops into North Korea and risk a confrontation with US or South Korean forces that could quickly escalate, the report said.