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North Korea threat: China reaches out to agitated Pyongyang

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Because of their close ties, China is considered the country with the most sway in North Korea, and it has made concerted calls for calm on the Korean Peninsula, but to little noticeable effect. Yesterday North Korea said it would "soon" take "unprecedented" action against the South Korean government and "reduce its target to ashes." It called for the death of the South Korean president at a rally last week, BBC reports.

But there is also concern in the international community, based on evidence that a Chinese company sold North Korea hardware used to transport missiles, that China is lax in its enforcement of sanctions intended to prevent North Korea from obtaining military and nuclear weapon equipment, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Videos from a recent North Korean military parade show missiles being transported on trucks built with what the US believes were some critical Chinese-made parts, such as a chassis, from the company Hubei Sanjiang. According to WSJ, the Obama administration does not believe the sale was made with permission from Beijing, but the US is concerned that China is unable to fully enforce the United Nations sanctions because of the large number of Chinese companies producing equipment that has both civilian and military uses.

The vehicle carrying the chassis raises concerns because its use implies that North Korea has "made progress" producing long-range ballistic missiles that can be transported – an outcome the US has long fretted about, because mobile weapons will be harder to deter, according to The New York Times

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