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China's Role in the Course of North Korea's Transition
Author: Liu Ming
Published May 25, 2011
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The North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK]) nuclear drama offers a good chance for fundamentally curing the North’s structural problems and routine crises. All the countries on North Korea’s periphery plus the United States have formed a consensus that it is urgent to find a way out of the current North Korean nuclear stalemate, which also touches upon other sectors in North Korea and that country’s long-standing concern toward the outside. In other words, any solution to the problem of North Korea needs a kind of comprehensive approach and arrangement or, as called by many Korea experts, a great bargain; economic leverage or incentives will play a significant role.

China has a long history of a client relationship with North Korea; during the current nuclear crisis, it draws the world spotlight through its proactive shuttle diplomacy. If all the participants in the six-party talks—North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, Russia, and the United States—can finally work out a package of solutions, China must be an indispensable guarantor and a contributor in the implementation process.

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