Fundamental changes to the nature of politics inside China’s Communist Party are occurring at the same time Beijing and Pyongyang work out a new relationship. These developments are already affecting the external policies of the two hard-line states, whose formal military alliances are with each other only. For almost a decade, Chinese generals and admirals have been accumulating influence at the expense of civilian leaders. This trend is set to continue as flag officers act as power brokers in the ongoing political transition as the so-called Fourth Generation leaders, led by Hu Jintao, give way to the Fifth. This rise of the Chinese military has special implications for the Korean Peninsula because the country’s generals have traditionally endorsed pro-Pyongyang policies.