China’s role in tougher North Korea sanctions surprises some - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

China’s role in tougher North Korea sanctions surprises some

China, who has had a good relationship with North Korea’s leaders, surprised some observers by embracing tougher sanctions against the communist nation. (Source: CCTV/CNN) China, who has had a good relationship with North Korea’s leaders, surprised some observers by embracing tougher sanctions against the communist nation. (Source: CCTV/CNN)

BEIJING (CNN) - In the past, North Korea could depend upon China's support, no matter how provocative its actions. That may no longer be the case.

The aggressive stance is vintage North Korea, with leader Kim Jong Un at the frontline at a massive military rally in Pyongyang, threating war.

"You Americans! Listen carefully," said Park Hyung-Ryul, comrade representing the working class. "Will you only wake up when Washington is engulfed in a sea of flames and the ground is blown into the sky with our merciless and limitless nuclear strike!? Would it be a miserable collapse or a white-flag-raising surrender?"

The hermit kingdom is now facing tougher sanctions, and the key is its ally, China, which could have vetoed the measure.

Instead, after weeks of negotiations, China signed on.

The move surprised many because North Korea has always depended on the fellow communist nation for friendship and support.

Mao Zedong sent troops to the north during the Korean War, and China has always welcomed North Korea's leaders, first Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founder, then his son, Kim Jong Il.

As China opened up, analysts say its leaders encouraged Kim to embrace progress. He didn't.

The north has focused on its nuclear program while its economy and people suffered, conducting nuclear tests and irritating China.

"Having good relationship is one thing, but even the best of friends need to make clear what is the principled stand, what is the bottom line," said Victor Gao, director of the China National Association of International Studies. "I think even between friends, you cannot really tolerate certain reckless behavior by the other party."

Copyright 2013 CNN. All rights reserved.

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