News / Asia

China Increasingly Uneasy With N. Korea

China Increasingly Uneasy With North Koreai
X
May 10, 2013 7:30 PM
North Korea this week renewed its recent series of threats, saying there would be "immediate counteractions" should anything go awry with a series of joint military drills between the United States and South Korea. Much of Pyongyang's fiery rhetoric, however, has softened in recent weeks. VOA's Jeff Seldin takes a look at what may be persuading Pyongyang to, at least for now, change course.
North Korea this week renewed its recent series of threats, saying there would be "immediate counteractions" should anything go awry with a series of joint military drills between the United States and South Korea.  Much of Pyongyang's fiery rhetoric, however, has softened in recent weeks.

Warnings like that on North Korean state-run television seem more muted lately, and are coming less frequently.

Photos show North Korean leader Kim Jong Un talking with workers, not soldiers, at construction sites.

Possibly most telling, U.S. officials say two of Pyongyang's mid-range missiles recently were removed from imminent-launch status.  

Still, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying remains cautious.

"Current situation on the Korean peninsula is still highly complicated and sensitive. We hope that relevant parties can take actions that will help ease tension and bring peace and stability on the peninsula,'' said Hua.

But China itself may now be trying to wield more influence over Pyongyang, announcing the state-run Bank of China has closed key accounts with North Korea's main foreign exchange bank.

Scott Snyder, with the Council on Foreign Relations, said, "It is in my view a tactical adjustment whereby the Chinese are trying to signal to the North Koreans, as much as to anybody, that China's willing to get tough."

China's public rebuke was its first since North Korea set off a nuclear test in March, incurring a new round of sanctions.

What is unclear is just how much China is willing to push North Korea to get in line, and to what extent China is willing to align its aims with those of the United States.

China analyst Bonnie Glaser said it bears watching. "There is a greater opportunity than we have seen in the past to have a unified series of steps," she said.

Glaser said China is clearly growing impatient with what it sees as saber-rattling from young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, though many in Beijing remain sympathetic to North Korea.

"I don't know that China has a long-term strategy about what it will do in cooperation with other nations or by itself if Kim Jong Un continues down this path," said Glaser.

With all the assistance China provides North Korea, there remain plenty of opportunities for more leverage to be applied should Beijing decide it is time to do that.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
May 10, 2013 8:20 PM
China has to worry more about nuclear state of DPRK than the US because DPRK is at its door step. If China want to restrain the war cry of the baby dictator Kim Jong Un, China should reign in at DPRK before it is too late. If it is too late for action, DPRK may direct the war rhetoric against China also. Is China waiting for the war cry against China for decisive action against DPRK?

In Response

by: guest2013 from: US
May 13, 2013 1:29 PM
china tighten the leash on their ally north korea in fear that north's nuclear provocation might end up a nuclear armed south korea and japan.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid