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North Korea's snub of Chinese envoy hints at sanctions anxieties

Pyongyang want Beijing's help to ease UN sanctions, but so far it's not working

BEIJING North Korea made numerous attempts to compel China to ease sanctions in connection with the recent visit by a Chinese envoy, several sources say, signaling cracks in the decades-long friendship between the two nations amid mounting international pressure against Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development.

China traditionally sends a special envoy to the country following the twice-in-a-decade Communist Party National Congress. But when Beijing first discussed this year's trip, Pyongyang demanded that economic sanctions be eased in exchange, in a rebuke to China for siding with U.S. demands that the North abandon its nuclear program.

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