No, I don't think so. The Chinese may be forced to temporarily occupy parts of North Korea, however.
The Daily Beast editorial glosses over the creation of the two Koreas like this: The Allies ejected Japan from Korea but temporarily divided the peninsula at the end of World War II. The division into a Soviet-dominated state, now the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and an American-supported one, the Republic of Korea, hardened into the two-state system that exists today.
"Hardened" is an interesting way to describe the Korean War, in which American soldiers came into direct conflict with Chinese Communist soldiers, not just Cold War proxies.
Korea was sawn in half roughly in the middle. The South became a client of the West and the North a client of China. After 60 years, the client of the West has gone from being a pile of smoking rubble with weeping orphans abandoned by the side of the road, to a prosperous ultra-modern democracy, while the clients of the East live with Orwellian levels of control, starvation and isolation. The difference is so dramatic that we foreigners in China are cautioned against raising the topic of North Korea. It's a sensitive subject.
How bad are things in North Korea? It's been at least 30 or 40 years since any prominent Western radical intellectuals have praised it as a workers' paradise. They might cozy up to Chavez and honeymoon in Cuba, but they aren't deranged enough to party in Pyongyang. When Western fellow travelers can't even say things like, hey, but look at their great literacy rate and their universal daycare programs, you know it's a terrible place.
In case you hadn't heard, desperate North Koreans have been sneaking across the river separating North Korea from China for some time. Some women are kidnapped and sold as brides to Chinese men who can't find Chinese women to marry as a result of China's lop-sided demographics. Many are exploited for their labor. Some make it across the country, to Thailand and are given refugee status in South Korea. But from what I've read, they are deeply emotionally and psychologically scarred by the misery and confusion of escaping from a place where failure to worship the Kim family is a capital offence.
We know that the West would respond with generosity and concern if the North Korean regime falls and private citizens will give unstintingly to charities offering assistance. The world expects philanthropy from both the American government and its people. These overtures may be met with suspicion in North Korea because the Kim family regime has obliterated all conceptions of kindness, mercy and generosity for generations of North Koreans. (Once upon a time, by the way, Pyongyang had so many churches it was known as the "Jerusalem of the East.")
The Chinese don't enjoy a reputation for disinterested philanthropy. The government and military have contingency plans in place for the collapse of the North Korean regime, as well they should. But will they do more than block off the border to prevent the deluge of refugees? Will they colonize under the guise of bringing much needed-aid to the NoKos?
Over two million Chinese soldiers were deployed to Korea, fighting the UN forces. (Starving and freezing to death, btw, but they were there). Why didn't China take over North Korea then, and populate it with Chinese people, as it has done in Tibet?
He didn't have to say anything of the kind. He could have confined his remarks to revisiting what rat bastards the Japanese were. But the centerpiece of his speech was this pledge to the world that China would never visit upon another nation what had been endured by the Chinese. Xi wants China to be respected by the world and that is worth more to the Chinese leadership than whatever miserable resources they could exploit out of North Korea. Which leads to the next point.....
North Korea may have some natural resources, but otherwise it's such a basket case that surely it would be a net loss for China, just as it will be an enormously costly burden for South Korea.
Although all North Koreans are relentlessly propagandized to be vigilant against an attack from the West, the truth is that the broken-down played-out country has nothing we could conceivably want. There's nothing to invade for. So why colonize it? Would it cost more to pay the market price for North Korea's resources, as opposed to sending your army to seize and rebuild the entire territory in the face of what would be world wide global condemnation?