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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | 10:52 PM

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China this week took a harder line towards North Korea than it has in the past, threatening to ban shipments of food. (It's a conservative website; ignore the ad on the right.)
June 22, 2006: China has, for the first time, threatened to halt essential fuel and food supplies if North Korea went ahead with a ballistic missile test. China has used this threat sparingly, because China is North Korea's most reliable supplier, and loss of these items could cause chaos in North Korea.
(I want one of those ads, just with a different shirt...)

This looks like a good thing, and getting China to take a harder line on NK is about the closest thing we have to a policy for the country. OTOH, we need them to be more open about it. Rather than publicly denouncing them, they have these 'under the radar' measures that could end up starting a famine. It would be much better if we could get them to keep supplying food, but to also make some noise.

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