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 and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe 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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs