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PacNet #67 – U.S. Policy toward North Korea: The China Fallacy

Images of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s warm embrace of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il during this week’s visit to Pyongyang to celebrate the 60th anniversary of PRC-DPRK diplomatic relations may have surprised observers of the North Korea nuclear issue. After all, the conventional wisdom in U.S. foreign policy circles is that the Chinese leadership is increasingly angry with Pyongyang in the wake of its recent provocations and that Beijing is willing and able to use its leverage to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program. This embrace should give such observers pause: it manifests a clear disconnect between the conventional wisdom and reality.