EU Tightens Sanctions On North Korea In Response To Nuclear Test

Yet the United Nations resolution and subsequent statements by Chinese officials suggest that their support for sanctions is highly conditional on the US coming back to talks with Pyongyang.

But it seems that even the slightest volatility in North Korea-China relations is enough for Washington and Beijing to put aside their differences to focus on a much bigger and much more unsafe issue at hand: North Korea and its nuclear program.

Worldwide condemnation of North Korea reached a historic high this month following a missile test and a string of assassinations linked to its leader, Kim Jong-un.

The White House meeting follows a call between Yang and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last week during which they discussed trade, counter terrorism and pledged to "address the threat that North Korea poses to regional stability".

The harsh rhetoric, according to Da Zhigang, was caused by China's factual adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 2321, "which was supplemented by unilateral sanctions imposed in the form of the suspension of North Korean coal imports".

Even if the talks had happened, some experts believe they would have had very little weight on the future of U.S.

Is China North Korea's agent in United States talks?

It makes the whole situation even messier and more complicated considering that Kim Jong Un is wholeheartedly confident that Beijing is opposed to seeing his regime toppled, as it would lead to a massive uptick of refugees sneaking across China's border, or worse - creating a USA -backed unified Korea and potentially US troops on China's doorstep. North Korea has accelerated its development of nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles since 2009, when it walked away from six-party talks involving China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the U.S.

Former President Obama Spotted Leaving Fifth Avenue Store
On Thursday, an Instagram photo showed Obama in SoHo at a restaurant with his daughter Malia . Obama is back in the U.S. after a brief holiday in the British Virgin Islands.

China and North Korea which share land borders are regarded as close allies.

Putting North Korea on the terrorism sponsor list is "mostly symbolic", said Robert Kelly, a political science associate professor at South Korea's Pusan National University.

Pyongyang-based media lashed out at China, saying it was doing Washington's bidding.

But Yang's visit to the US comes amid apparent shifts in China's foreign policies regarding North Korea. "The response was so strong, it indicates the coal bans will hurt North Korea badly".

Coal is North Korea's main export and a constant source of foreign money pouring into Pyongyang's fragile economy, allowing it to survive. Such actions would increase instability in China's neighborhood - the last thing Beijing wants. The Trump administration should reason with Xi that coddling North Korea will only strengthen the voices of hard-liners in South Korea and Japan and result in changes that are not in China's strategic interests.

The considering branding North Korea as state sponsor of terrorism, Yonhap News reported Tuesday, citing a high-level South Korean government official.

The murder of the Kim Jong Nam, who was living in China and advocated Chinese-style economic reforms, is likely to have further soured ties.

The plans come in wake of North Korea's controversial ballistic missile test on February 12.

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