China’s New Thinking on North Korea Policy?
Published on: Jul 12, 2005

Yoichi Funabashi is columnist and chief diplomatic correspondent of the Asahi Shimbun. He is also a contributing editor of Foreign Policy. He was a correspondent for the Asahi Shimbun in Beijing (1980-81) and in Washington (1984-87), and was American general bureau chief (1993-97). He won the Japan Press Award, known as Japan's Pulitzer Prize, in 1994 for his columns on foreign policy. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the International Crisis Group. His most recent books include Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific, ed. (USIP, 2003); New Challenges, New Frontier: Japan and ASEAN in the 21st Century (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2003); Alliance Adrift (Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1998, winner of the Shincho Arts and Sciences Award); Asia-Pacific Fusion: Japan's Role in the APEC (Institute for International Economics, 1995, winner of the Mainichi Shimbun Asia Pacific Grand Prix Award).

As of now, the six-party talks for the resolution of the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula have resumed after a year’s suspension. Since June 2004, North Korea had repeatedly refused to resume the talks, and in February 2005, it announced that it possesses a nuclear weapon. Despite the resumption of the talks, considerable differences remain. If the current impasse continues, what would be the likely regional consequences? Even though the five other countries involved in the talks—China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States—are supposed to be working as one to handle a single state—North Korea—this stalemate could have effects that go way beyond that. First and foremost, it will be increasingly difficult for the parties to cooperate as their differences widen. It could also shake the basic pillars of the U.S. policy in Northeast Asia—maintaining two close alliances with South Korea and Japan. It could also complicate the relationships because the U.S.-Japan camp’s tougher approach may affect China’s calculus and the trajectory of geopolitical struggle in Northeast Asia.

Beijing has reiterated its desires: a nuclear–free Korean peninsula and safeguarding peace and stability there.1 Given China's major role as host of the talks, what are its interests and policy considerations for now and in the near future? This paper will first describe the current situation in Northeast Asia and consider the factors which divide or unite the parties involved. It will then discuss the possible outcomes of the current stalemate, and end with a discussion of Chinese domestic elements that determine their policy toward North Korea.

Divergent forces among parties

As the negotiating resumes and North Korea continues its nuclear weapons programs, centrifugal forces among the six countries will drive them further away from each other. The United States and Japan will reinforce their relatively hard-line stance while China and South Korea will continue to be the soft-liners. Meanwhile, Russia will remain the opportunist. The soft-hard divide works in tandem with nationalism, particularly in China, South Korea and Japan, as a negative driving force among them. The resulting tension between hard-line and soft-line states will undercut the six-party effort to denuclearize North Korea. Against the backdrop of Japan's deteriorating relationship with China and South Korea, such tension could pull the six parties further apart, thereby beginning a vicious cycle, complicating Japan's relations with its neighbors.

Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul have been having rather tense relations in recent years. Nationalism, territorial disputes and historical issues have all contributed to the strain. Together with Japan’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, these strain triggered violent protests in both China and South Korea.

In the case of Japan and China, disputes on how history textbooks portray Japan’s action in the Second World War, ownership of the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, and Prime Minister Koizumi’s insistence on visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors, among others, Class A war criminals, have all made headlines in both countries. Relations hit rock bottom when the Japanese government’s textbook screening panel approved new textbooks which “whitewash” Japan’s wartime atrocities.2 Large-scale anti-Japan demonstrations broke out in various parts of China in April, including major cities such as Shanghai.3 This was capped by Vice-Premier Wu Yi’s cancellation of her meeting with Koizumi in May. As Japan bids for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council in the 60th anniversary year of the end of Second World War, nationalistic moves have been spurred on both sides. Japan opened a Yamato Museum in Kure in honor of a battleship that was sunk in 1945 during a suicide mission. Meanwhile, at least 60 films have been released in China to commemorate the war’s 60th anniversary.4 These films mainly celebrate victory over Japan and the people’s united resistance against the aggressor.

Japan’s connection with South Korea faces similar obstacles. Apart from visits to Yasukuni and the newly approved history texts, relations between Seoul and Tokyo have soured over the island of Dokdo/Takeshima after Japan’s Shimane prefecture designated February 22 as “Takeshima Day” to honor the anniversary of Japan’s incorporation of Dokdo/Takeshima into its territory a century ago. This not only led to furious protests in South Korea, but also to President Roh Moo-hyun’s “Letter to the Nation,” asserting that the ROK government would “sternly demand” that Japan “correct the wrongs” of its colonial past. The letter also declared a “diplomatic war” on Japan.5

Relations between Beijing and Seoul also turned chilly for awhile in 2004 when China claimed the ancient kingdom of Koguryo in northern Korea and Manchuria (37 BC to AD 668) as part of Chinese history. Protests followed, but soon subsided as anger was diverted to Japan.6

According to a survey jointly conducted by the Asahi Shimbun, Dong-A Ilbo and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in March 2005, 63% of South Koreans and 64% of Chinese said they disliked Japan. Over 90% of respondents in both countries were opposed to Koizumi’s visits to Yasukuni.7 As the recent demonstrations show, popular nationalism could get out of hand easily and continues to be a source of conflict among neighbors who are involved in the six-party talks.

In a way, the six-party talks have been the "glue" for China, Japan and South Korea to stick together. The talks have played a role in softening or even containing hard-liners particularly in Japan, South Korea and even the United States as moderates can argue that hard-liners should wait for the opportunity for pressuring North Korea to ripen. With this, they can at least expect to buy time. The six-party talks have helped to manage nationalism and politics within each country. More extreme options, such as a surgical military strike or economic sanctions, could be forestalled. The six-party glue still seems to hold, but if the soft-hard gap gets wider and deeper, it will eventually dry up. The decay of the U.S.-South Korea alliance is also possible. As the United States and South Korea have diverging opinions on how to treat North Korea, it could possibly compromise the coherent U.S. Northeast Asia policy established half a century ago, based on the alliances with Japan and South Korea. This could lead to the "singularization" of Japan as the only reliable U.S. ally in the region, which could make Japan uneasy. This tension was reflected in the recent diplomatic flap between South Korea and Japan. In May, Japan's Vice Foreign Minister Yachi Shotaro told a group of South Korean opposition members that because the United States "does not have sufficient trust in South Korea, Japan finds it a problem to share information it has received from Washington with South Korea." In addition, he stated that the "United States and Japan stand to the right, and China and North Korea to the left. South Korea appears to be moving from the center to the left." 8 South Korea immediately warned that the comments are "not only incorrect, but violate diplomatic etiquette" and demanded that the Japanese government take "well deserved action" against Yachi. This sent a negative signal not only about bilateral relations, but also about tripartite cooperation. If the North Korean situation does not improve, it is likely that the United States and its allies will face more challenges to their common ground in the future.

Fundamentally, there is a lack of obviously effective options to stop North Korean nuclear-arming. There are theoretical options, such as a military strike, economic embargo, or a regime change, either from above, such as a coup d’etat, or from below, a peaceful evolution. Nonetheless, the costs of these alternatives are simply so high that carrying them out would be extremely painful. No party can claim to have a better idea than multilateral talks for resolving the problem. As a result, process has substituted for substance.

Regional repercussions of a continued impasse

China is keen on keeping the Korean peninsula nuclear-free because it faces threatening repercussions if its neighbors (South Korea, Japan or even Taiwan) go nuclear as a result. China does not want another nuclear neighbor in addition to Pakistan, India and Russia. Collapse of the North Korean regime would undoubtedly be disastrous to China, as well. Given the volatile and unstable nature of the regime, China has been trying to persuade the D.P.R.K. to carry out economic reforms along Chinese lines, or perhaps to adopt an open door policy. Instead of giving endless aid to North Korea, China prefers to see economic reform there, which could also allow its lagging northeast region to benefit from road and other cross-border linkages.9 North Korean officials have reportedly visited China’s booming cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen in May 2004 to study the impact of economic reform there. They were accompanied by South Koreans from the Hyundai Asan Corporation, which has been a chief advocate of inter-Korean economic cooperation.10 A month earlier, when Kim Jong-Il visited Beijing, it was disclosed that “free-market reforms” which “revolutionized China’s economy” were discussed during his meeting with top Chinese leaders.11 Beijing’s thinking goes beyond nuclear capacity. The inherent question is whether North Korea can “embark on a sustained and comprehensive path of reform à la China.” 12

China’s effort to persuade the North Korean regime to carry out economic reforms demonstrates how China sees its own interest in a multilateral process. Beijing is well aware of the limits to its options—it is not feasible for it alone to bring a North Korean open door policy into being. Hence, it is exploring a more complementary approach in which American, Japanese and South Korean involvement is vital.

Nonetheless, the intrinsic concern for China is the emerging order in Northeast Asia. Even if it is still in an exploratory stage, China’s policy is already visible from its new approach towards Pyongyang, which could be termed a policy of “new thinking.” It is certainly still under discussion internally, but the policy has already been pursued by hosting the six-party talks. It illustrates how Beijing is “distancing” itself from its ally, Pyongyang. China gives highest priority to its own economic development, and to do so it needs a peaceful international environment. The last thing China wants to see is turmoil in North Korea.

North Korea has been of a certain strategic value to Beijing as a buffer state separating China from the U.S. military camp in South Korea and Japan, but it is losing its importance vis-á-vis China. As the revolution in military technology has progressed over the past two decades, it has revalued the significance of conventional military power. That has given Beijing the opportunity to distance itself from Pyongyang and opened up more options for it with Seoul. As China normalized relations with South Korea, the two have become more economically interdependent than ever. In 2004, China replaced the U.S. as South Korea’s largest bilateral trade partner.13 Together with the cultural affinity it has with Korea, China finds more leeway to maneuver its negotiations with the North. As South Korea’s policy toward North Korea has also evolved to one of desperately embracing it, Beijing could afford to distance itself from the North somewhat since relations on the Korean peninsula are no longer a zero-sum game. It has no need to choose between the two. Beijing now has more room to maneuver in dealing with Pyongyang.

China’s vision of a new Northeast Asian order

China is striving to develop a multilateral framework in Northeast Asia in which it expects to play a leading role. Beijing used to be suspicious about multilateral dialogue and viewed organizations such as the Asian Regional Forum as “potential tools of the United States that could be used to contain it,” 14 but it has gradually become confident in itself as a major player in a multilateral framework. In 1999, then President Jiang Zemin called for the “cultivation of a new security concept” because “the old security concept based on military alliances and build-up of armaments” would not be helpful in achieving world peace.15

As a multilateral framework emerges, it is unclear what role Beijing expects the United States to play in the future. It is likely that China desires the U.S. role to be somewhat more reduced. This could be one of the reasons for China’s decision to host the six-party talks. There are voices in China which remain skeptical of U.S. influence, especially on the Korean peninsula. During the inter-Korea summit in 2000, Kim Dae-jung announced that North Korea would drop its demand for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea, hitherto a primary condition for negotiating with the South.16 Kim Jong Il was quoted as saying that he agreed to the continuation of American military presence on the Korean peninsula, even after the two Koreas were unified. This did not charm China much. Its People’s Liberation Army Daily “decried the US troop presence as the biggest obstacle to unification.” 17 Beijing still has bitter memories of the Korean War, and reunification of the peninsula could extend U.S. influence to China’s border, which was a core reason for China’s entry into that war.18

Beijing has also been suspicious about the military transformation program carried out by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. A People’s Liberation Army major general stated that the United States, as “the only superpower in the world,” will have “even more pronounced relative superiority over other countries” and have “tremendous military capabilities” because of the “uneven levels of input” by each country into their own military transformation projects. As the gap between the U.S. and other countries widens, it would bring China “grim challenges,” and so the PLA should modernize itself in a decade or two before it is too far behind.19

At the same time, Beijing may also want the U.S. to keep committed to the region as a stabilizer. Beijing has tacitly accepted, if not welcomed, the U.S. military presence and the U.S.-Japan alliance as a “cap on the bottle effect” on Japan since the days of Zhou Enlai. Once Japan is “out of the bottle” and on its own, there would be more potential worries for China.

China's primary interest is economic development. That makes it imperative to stabilize its relationship with the United States. China’s restraint over the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 illustrates the point. Although an intense debate on its policy towards the United States raged in China after the incident, Beijing came to the conclusion that Deng Xiaoping's theory of "peace and development" was still relevant. "China needed to stabilize and improve its relationship with the United States, as the single most important country for China's national interests." 20 After the attack of September 11, the Bush administration issued a new national security strategy in September 2002 in which China became a "strategic partner" instead of a "strategic competitor." The document even mentioned that Washington "welcome[s] the emergence of a strong, peaceful, and prosperous China." 21

From China's point of view, the North Korean crisis provides an opportunity to take advantage of the situation and solidify its partnership with the United States. Statements by Chinese officials have reinforced this belief. For instance, in December 2003, Wang Yi, current Chinese ambassador to Japan and head of the Chinese six-party talk delegation, acknowledged for the first time that the U.S. military presence in the region is the result of a "historical process" and that China is willing to see the U.S. play a "positive and constructive role for peace and stability in the region." 22 China is keen to build and strengthen its political partnership with the United States on top of their already close economic relations.

The key to success lies in the six-party talks. The critical question, however, is whether China accepts the legitimate role of U.S. military commitment to Northeast Asia as part of the enduring framework for peace and stability in its vision of regional order. If China keeps rejecting the American presence, one would inevitably witness more conflict eventually. As seen from Wang Yi’s statement, China seems to be on the verge of accepting this idea. The policy debate certainly continues in China and it seems that accommodation has not yet become settled policy.


Taiwan is one of the most important factors in China’s calculus, especially when it comes to cooperating with the United States. Taiwan is a poignant matter for mainland Chinese, given the bitter memories they have about its sovereignty. Taiwan has never been the battleground for a war, but whenever China was entangled in a conflict with Japan or the United States, it lost Taiwan. In 1894, China lost Taiwan to Japan after the two fought a war over the Korean peninsula. When the Korean War broke out in 1950, the United States sent its Seventh Fleet to patrol the Taiwan Straits to avoid trouble from occurring, which halted the Communist Party’s attempt to attack Taiwan. In 1954, the United States signed a Mutual Defense Treaty with Taiwan, which basically consolidated the island’s separation from the mainland. 23 It is reasonable that China would never want to make the same mistake again. As Chinese leaders often use history as a “barometer” for policy making, Taiwan touches a raw nerve: a part of China colonized by a foreigner and subsequently as a member of the opposite camp during the cold war, it remains a symbol of China’s “humiliating” past.24

When Premier Wen Jiabao visited the U.S. in December 2003, he made what was considered to be a de facto deal that China would try to rein in and bring North Korea to the negotiation table while the United States should “behave” in its treatment of Taiwan. Prior to the meeting in Washington, Taiwan’s President Chen Shuibian advocated a referendum on whether China should stop pointing missiles at Taiwan, which aroused the fear of a vote for formal independence. When President Bush met Wen in Washington, he reaffirmed that the United States opposes “any unilateral decision by either China or Taiwan to change the status quo,” and added, “The comments and actions made by the leader of Taiwan indicate that he may be willing to make decisions unilaterally to change the status quo, which we oppose.” 25 As the official Xinhua News Agency stated, Bush reinforced the view that the U.S. government adheres to “one-China” and showed gratitude towards China for its efforts in convening the six-party talks.26 Later that month, President Hu Jintao and Bush had a telephone conversation during which Hu showed appreciation for Bush’s earlier remarks, and in return, stated that the Chinese side will “continue maintaining close contact with the relevant parties to facilitate the holding of the second Beijing six-party talks at an early date and enable the talks to yield positive results.” 27

Taiwan has to be part of China’s big picture, arguably for its policy anywhere in the world. During Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Beijing in March 2005, she reiterated that the United States remains “absolutely committed to a one-China policy.” Even though she showed concern over the Anti-Succession Law passed earlier, she avoided harsh comments. Instead, she said that it “conforms with U.S. interests to maintain tranquility across the Taiwan Straits.” This meeting was considered by Wang Jisi, leading expert on Sino-U.S. relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as “pragmatic and prudent,” while making efforts “to seek common ground in their difference.” 28 In order to move toward reunification, or at least maintain the status quo, Beijing would have to keep the six-party talks alive. The United States, and perhaps China, do not want to make an explicit deal on Taiwan and North Korea. Even though China has emotional and historic links to each of them, they are not exchangeable by nature and are strategically separate matters.

China’s border and the North Korean minority

Besides Taiwan, China has good reasons to be concerned about its border with North Korea and Korean minority issues in the border area. China is fearful of an exodus of refugees across its border in the event that the regime collapses. Its Korean minority in the northeast region, the Yanbian Korean Autonomous prefecture in Jilin, has been a center of support for North Korean escapees. Of Yanbian’s population of 2.15 million, ethnic Koreans account for roughly 40%.29 Though born and raised in China, this minority group has a strong sense of Korean kinship and identity. North Korean residents across the border helped the community during the harsh period of the Cultural Revolution in China.30 “Cross-border food seekers,” for instance, first came from the PRC to North Korea in the 1960s. It is possible that the legal basis for Beijing’s returning illegal North Korean immigrants rests on a “still-secret” treaty in which Pyongyang promised to send Chinese offenders back during the famine in the 1960s.31 After the disastrous Cultural Revolution, a sense of “mutual obligations” among ethnic Koreans to help each other emerged, no matter which side of the river they are on.32

Estimates of North Koreans illegally living in China range from 20,000 to 100,000. Beijing has argued that they are “economic migrants” and should not be granted asylum. Chinese analysts have reportedly said that Beijing “believes the fall of communism in Eastern Europe was precipitated when Hungary allowed tens of thousands of East German refugees to pass through” in 1989.33 It is still a sensitive issue especially when it might recall memories of the Cultural Revolution for the minority. In addition, China has been repeatedly criticized by international organizations, such as the UN High Commission for Refugees, and NGOs such as Doctors without Borders, for its treatment of North Korean escapees. As China prepares to host the Olympics in 2008, it has become more aware of its international reputation and image, and it does not want more attention focused on its human rights record, especially if more North Koreans cross the border.34

Social problems like prostitution and narcotics are also valid reasons for China to have grave concern for North Koreans in the area. In spite of the fact that North Korean female escapees are “often forced into sexual slavery” or are “subject to rape,” they still account for more than 75% of North Korean immigrants.35 It is not uncommon for them to be kidnapped or sold to other parts of China, ending up as brides or in brothels.36 It has been reported that drug addiction has been spreading among the more affluent class in North Korea, and even spreading to university campuses. The head of Chongjin City Security Department was fired for drug addiction in one notable example. North Korean residents often settle their debts by selling drugs to the Chinese population in different cities of Jilin province, especially in the Yanbian autonomous area. This has alarmed Chinese authorities. A Chinese public security officer was quoted as saying “Drugs are now a greater problem than North Korean escapees.” 37 Indeed, China replaced armed police with PLA troops to patrol its border with North Korea in September 2003. Although the government claimed that it was a move to “unify the land border administrations,” 38 it indicated that Beijing is now much more vigilant in the area.

The economy of China’s northeast is lagging behind the rapidly growing south and other coastal regions. After serious efforts by the Chinese government, Jilin province has made considerable progress. Even though its total income in 2004 was modest when compared to flourishing cities like Shanghai, its GDP grew by 12.2% compared to 2003.39 Turmoil in the region will further complicate China’s effort to modernize the area.

Trade with North Korea is stimulating growth in Jilin. In 2004, China and North Korea’s bilateral trade amounted to $1.3 billion, a rise of 30% from 2003. Dandong, a garrison town near the border, has been transformed into a thriving city with 500 local companies engaged in trade. Dandong’s business leaders naturally hope that business between the two will “keep growing.” 40


Even though we may see some ups and downs and more difficulties for China and its partners, it is likely that the six-party talks will be kept alive. This could be a “muddling through” approach, but it would be China’s choice simply because it has no alternative. China is very much on the defensive because regime collapse in the North or a U.S. surgical military strike on the D.P.R.K.’s nuclear development facilities would have devastating consequences for China. These are the two scenarios that China would least want to see.

In order to prevent such scenarios from becoming reality, China is reluctant to see economic sanctions imposed on North Korea, whether under the auspices of the UN Security Council or in other forms—unilateral or multilateral—especially by the United States and Japan. China will likely exert more pressure on North Korea, lest economic sanctions be triggered. In spite of this, it may not block the nuclear issue from being brought to the Security Council. Its international reputation is even more of factor now as China embraces globalization and prepares for the 2008 Olympics. It cannot afford to be portrayed as an “accomplice” of a “rogue” state. Although China officially opposes economic sanctions against North Korea, it did not block a 1994 UN Security Council resolution that called for international inspections in the D.P.R.K. It also agreed with the United States and South Korea on a resolution that would impose “minimum requirements” on Pyongyang to expose its suspect nuclear sites to international inspection. 41 These moves served as a more severe warning to North Korea on their “improper” behavior, but they were just tactical. Strategically, China is still extremely cautious when it comes to the economy of the D.P.R.K as China would suffer from its deterioration. Sanctions could completely destroy the six-party talks, together with what China originally intended to get out of it. Most important of all, it could lead to the downfall of the North Korean regime.


1 “DPRK ready to return to six-party talks if conditions met: Kim Jong-Il,” People’s Daily, 2/23/2005.

2 “Backlash in China, Korea erupts over contents of Japanese textbooks,” Yomiuri Shimbun, 4/7/2005.

3 “16 arrested in anti-Japan protests,” Washington Post, 4/26/2005.

4 “Nationalism spurs growing Beijing-Tokyo rivalry,” International Herald Tribune, 6/8/2005.

5 An open letter to the nation concerning Korea-Japan relations, 3/23/2005.

6 “South Korea: from allies to critics,” Washington Times, 4/8/2005.

7 “Japan disliked by 60% of neighbors,” Asahi Shimbun, 4/28/2005.

8 "Tokyo riles Seoul with diplomat's comments," International Herald Tribune, 5/27/2005.

9 “China’s influence is limited,” International Herald Tribune, 1/10/2003.

10 “North Korean officials study economy in China,” The Korea Times, 5/26/2004.

11 “North Korea ends ‘candid’ China visit,” Washington Post, 4/22/2004.

12 David Shambaugh, “China and the Korean peninsula: playing for the long term,” in ed. Alexander Lennon and Camille Eiss, Reshaping Rouge States (Massachusetts: MIT Press 2004) 173.

13 “Bonds grow between China, South Korea,” Los Angeles Times, 5/29/2005.

14 David Shambaugh, "China engages Asia," in International Security, Vol. 29, NO.3 (Winter 2004/05), 69.

15 Speech at the Conference on Disarmament, 3/26/1999.

16 James Foley, “’Sunshine’ or showers for Korea’s divided families, World Affairs, Spring 2003.

17 Stephen Noerper, “Military ties remain vital despite North-South thaw,” US-Korea relations, Comparative Connections, Pacific Forum CSIS, 3rd Quarter 2000.

18 Scott Snyder, “North Korea’s decline and China’s strategic dilemmas,” Special Report 27, October 1997, United States Institute of Peace.

19 Peng Guangqian, “Meeting the challenge of new military transformation, Financial Times Information, 6/9/2003.

20 David Shambaugh, "China engages Asia," in International Security, Vol. 29, NO.3 (Winter 2004/05), 71.


22 Speech at the Conference on Security Cooperation in East Asia, 12/12/2003.

23 A brief history of modern China and Taiwan, CSIS International Security Program.

24 Zhu Feng and Drew Thompson, “Why Taiwan really matters to China,” China brief, vol. 4 issue 19, The Jamestown Foundation, 9/30/2004.

25 “Chinese leader, Bush talk about Taiwan,” Associated Press, 12/21/2003.

26 “Chinese premier, US president meet on ties,” Xinhua News Agency, 12/10/2003.

27 “Chinese, US presidents talk over phone,” Xinhua News Agency, 12/21/2003.

28 “Rice says US willing to boost cooperation, reduce differences with China,” Xinhua News Agency, 3/21/2005.


30 Lee Keum-soon, “Cross-border movement of North Korean citizens,” East Asian Review, Institute for East Asian Studies, vol. 16, no.1, Spring 2004, 45.

31 James Seymour, “China: a background paper on the situation of North Koreans in China,” January 2005, Writenet report commissioned by the UNHCR, 13.

32 Ibid., 3.

33 “China cracks down on North Korean refugees,” The Washington Post, 1/22/2003.

34 Ibid.

35 James Seymour, 17.

36 “Trafficking of North Korean Women in China,” Refugees International, 7/28/2003.

37 “China ‘ailing’ from North Korean-made drugs,” Choson Ilbo, 10/9/2004. BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 10/15/2004.

38 “China denies troop build-up on borders,” Xinhua News Agency, 9/16/2003.

39 National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2/26/2005.

40 “China under pressure to cut a lifeline,” Los Angeles Times, 3/19/2005.

41 “South Korean foreign minister says China will go along with resolution,” Associated Press, 3/30/1994.