U.S. policymakers seeking an end to North Korea’s nuclear program often point to Beijing’s leverage over Pyongyang as the key to securing a binding disarmament agreement and peace on the Korean peninsula. However, China’s key interests are maintaining stability along its shared border with North Korea and limiting U.S. military influence in the region. Despite steadily worsening relations between Beijing and Pyongyang, China has been reluctant to use its vast economic leverage to compel North Korea to return to negotiations. The Cipher Brief’s Will Edwards spoke to Yun Sun, senior associate at the Stimson Center’s East Asia Program, on June 9, 2017 about China’s complex relationship with North Korea, changes since President Donald Trump took office, and possibilities for future nonproliferation negotiations.
Read the interview at The Cipher Brief here.