by Devon Rowcliffe
When twilight ascends upon East Asia this Friday evening, the future direction of North Korea's increasingly tenuous relations with China may become much clearer.
North Korea has received an exhausting amount of media coverage over the past several weeks: for initially scoffing at a security offer from the United States, threatening to explode a nuclear bomb, testing several short-range missiles, spewing yet more of its tiresome brand of garrulous statements, and ultimately agreeing to take a serious look at the aforementioned US security pact.
However, one issue of crucial importance that has been largely overlooked is the fluctuating relationship between North Korea and China. The once-cohesive bond between the two states has shown clear signs of unraveling in recent months and could be irreversibly damaged if upcoming talks prove unfruitful.