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April 9, 2013 at 6:05 AM

China musters an opinion about North Korea

President Xi Jinping (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Tao)

President Xi Jinping (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Tao)

However oblique the references, it was reassuring to have China’s President Xi Jinping complain about North Korea, his country’s goofy neighbor and longtime ally.

Reassuring might overstate the feeling, but if Kim Jong Un and his sycophantic entourage in Pyongyang is going to listen to any adult advice, the stern voice would have to come from China.

The Chinese president, who is new to the job, told an economic forum in southern China that, “No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gains.” His comments Sunday surely resonated in North Korea’s capital.

Weekend TV talk shows in this country were alive with bipartisan finger wags at China. “You know, the Chinese hold a lot of the cards here,” New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer told a CBS audience. “They’re by nature cautious, but they’re carrying it to an extreme. It’s about time they stepped up to the plate and put a little pressure on the North Korean regime.”

On ABC, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright stressed the importance of talking. I agree. If the North Koreans back off, behave themselves and articulate reasonable requests, do indeed keep talking. Reasonable requests. OK that does seem like a stretch, but engage the North Koreans.

Update 7:44 p.m.

Check out this interactive graphic on North Korea from the Associated Press.

Comments | Topics: China, north korea


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