United States has been conducting back-channel talks with North Korea for months

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

According to the source, the talks are being held between Ambassador Joseph Yun, the USA special representative for North Korea policy, and Pak Song Il, a senior North Korean diplomat at the country's United Nations mission, using what's known as the "New York channel", which has been an avenue of communication between the US and North Korea throughout the years.

China's state-owned The Global Times said the country won't help North Korea if it attacks the US، but would intervene if the U.S. attempted to attack North Korea preemptively.

ANDREI LANKOV: Ideally, Russia and China would like to see Korean peninsula stable, divided between two countries, North and South, and, well, in the best of the possible worlds, non-nuclear.

The case of American student Otto Warmbier, who died following his release from North Korea, was included in those talks.

Washington-based think tank C4ADS says that Pyongyang is "far from being isolated, (and) is globally active through its overseas networks", which are helping to raise the funds and materials the country needs for its weapons programmes.

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At the same time, the editorial said China would intervene if the USA attacked North Korea first, which may be an attempt by China to warn the U.S. against starting a war either, at risk of getting into a much bigger war with China.

LANKOV: Russia is likely to basically follow China's lead on such issues.

"This suggests to us that the Chinese military may be pulling more strings in Pyongyang than we had previously considered, hence their refusal to cut oil the supply to North Korea", the broker said in a research note sent to clients. In the current situation a little spark can ignite a fire in the region. "At the same time, China will respond if the United States decides to attack North Korea", Asmolov said. "But is it brinkmanship or simply the beginning of the end for North Korea?"

Since years, North Korea has been surviving with the support of US' direct rival, China.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have recently intensified due to North Korea's multiple nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches conducted in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Russian Federation has ambitious plans to build pipelines and a railroad across North Korea to the lucrative markets of South Korea. USA Today reported that in addition to a boost in coal exports, the two countries reached a labour immigration agreement to expand a programme that already employs 40,000 North Korean labourers in Russian Federation.

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