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North Korea sticks to its nuclear dreams despite China's warnings

With Pyongyang and Washington at an impasse, Beijing attempts to play go-between

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, meets his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho in Manila on the same day.   © Reuters

MANILA -- The relationship between China and North Korea is not quite as special as it once was. Chinese President Xi Jinping has often referred to their "blood ties," forged when the two sides fought against the U.S. in the Korean War. More recently, Beijing has repeatedly defended Pyongyang against pressures from Washington, protecting the rogue nation almost as if it were a wayward younger brother.

But it is a different story now. On Aug. 5, the 15-member United Nations Security Council -- which includes China -- voted unanimously to adopt Resolution 2371, banning North Korea from selling coal, iron, iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore to other countries. The resolution is expected to cut the country's $3 billion annual export revenue by a third.

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