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International Crisis Group: Fire on the City Gate: Why China Keeps North Korea Close

December 11, 2013

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"The cost of sustaining the Kim regime may have increased and the benefits may have declined, but the calculation remains that the potential consequences of cutting Pyongyang loose are unacceptable."

In its latest report, Fire on the City Gate: Why China Keeps North Korea Close, the International Crisis Group examines the relationship between China and North Korea in the light of Pyongyang's accelerated nuclear activities and provocative rhetoric. Although China shares the West's goal of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and implements UN sanctions on the North, its strategy is defined by substantially different priorities. For Beijing, the real threat is not so much in the nuclear program as in a possible change to the delicate geopolitical balance should the regime in the North collapse.

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