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China-North Korea Relations Don't Seem to Be Improving

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture banned Chinese fishing boats from operating near North Korea today, another sign of a deteriorating relationship.

Apparently North Korea requested that all Chinese trawlers buy North Korean fuel instead of making their own arrangements. The Chinese authorities protested that this would “severely compromise the normal operations and safety of Chinese vessels,” according to the Global Times. In May, North Korean military vessels kidnapped Chinese fishermen at gunpoint, saying they were illegally fishing in North Korean waters and holding them for 13 days. A ransom demanded by the Norks was not paid.

Relations between the two “allies” reached a low point last month when China rolled out the red carpet and an extravagant banquet for the visiting South Korean President at the same time that its officials “scolded” a pair of North Korean diplomats in a meeting down the road. Clearly China is showing its displeasure with the North, whose belligerence is causing Japan to consider rearmament and justifying the US military presence in the region.

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