Pondering Pyongyang: Beijing’s problem child | CNN
By Kristie Lu Stout
After the United Nations slapped tougher sanctions on North Korea after its third nuclear test in February this year, Pyongyang screamed in defiance. It canceled its hotline with South Korea, withdrew its workers from the Kaesong industrial complex it jointly operates with Seoul, and carried on with its over-the-top threats.
China may have backed those sanctions but the economic lifeline is still there. Trade goes on between North Korea and China. In 2011, before some of these trade embargoes began, China accounted for an estimated 67.2% of North Korea’s exports and 61.6% of imports, according to the CIA World Factbook.
“If you talk to officials at the border, there’s no change,” says Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, the North Asian head of the International Crisis Group.