By RONG REN
DALIAN (China Daily Show) – Until yesterday, Chanhegong was a quiet fishing village in North-East China near the North Korean border with a population of 160,000, known for its clear sea and mackerel fishing.
As of this morning, however, Chanhegong is now a giant crater in the earth, known for its strong smell of death and two-headed fish, with a half-life of 72 years.
China’s leaders have called for peace, calm and the resumption of talks this afternoon, after an early Chinese New Year fireworks display by the village was apparently mistaken for aggressive military action.
North Korean artillery rained down over 400 uranium-enriched shells on the small town of Chanhegong, Liaoning Province, near the Port of Dandong, after its townspeople let off firecrackers, Roman candles and sparklers during a New Year temple fair.
Despite reports of the devastating attack on Chinese soil, top officials and PLA officers showed no sign of wishing to retaliate, instead issuing a statement maintaining its “firm opposition” towards nuclear strikes by its troubled neighbour and erstwhile ally.
“We will talk about this with [North Korea leader] Kim Jong-un, as he always listens,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Li Fu. “Probably sometime after New Year, though.”
Tensions have been raised on the Korean Peninsula since the 2009 sinking of South Korean warship the Cheonan and an exchange of artillery fire over the small island of Yeonpyeong in the Yellow Sea. On both occasions, China, North Korea’s sole chief ally, refused to join in the chorus of international criticism and instead urging a diplomatic solution to resolving the tensions.
But today, world leaders are asking just what North Korea has to do to provoke any kind of response from its seemingly placid neighbour.
Earlier this month, two North Korean diplomats treated senior Chinese PLA officers in Beijing to an impromptu Three Stooges vaudeville routine, slapping their heads, calling them “knuckleheads” and repeatedly tweaking the nose of one general while chanting, “Nuk, nuk, nuk.”
The Stooges are among the Kims’ favorite comedy acts and are considered essential viewing in North Korea.
In December, Kim Jong-un is reported to have commandeered a Chinese border train loaded with birthday presents and driven it around Hebei Province. “He was tooting the horn, laughing and letting off gunshots into the air,” an eyewitness told China Daily Show. “He then kidnapped a dozen peasants as souvenirs.”
Both events were dismissed as “horseplay” by Foreign Ministry officials.