| An Alliance at Arm’s Length

At a closed-door meeting between a Chinese envoy and Kim Jong-Il, the reclusive North Korean leader said he would not stage a second nuclear test (BBC). News reports from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) described the mood at the meeting as "friendly," but Beijing has shown increasing signs of irritation with Pyongyang. Should a second test occur, China may take drastic measures and reduce oil exports (NYT), even going beyond recent UN sanctions. This new Backgrounder looks at at Sino-DPRK relations in the wake of the North Korean nuclear test.

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