The recent outburst of aggressive behavior on the part of North Korea has created confusion in most parts of the world, but China is the nation that is most impacted by North Korean threats of nuclear or military confrontation. China has assumed a role as the policeman of eastern Asia, and has endeavored to work in a cooperative manner with the insular leaders of North Korea whose knowledge of the outside world is close to zero. China does not wish a nuclear race to emerge in Asia because at the center of Chinese foreign policy is a commitment to maintaining the status quo– in which China is at the center of power. China has been the leader of the six nations which have been attempting to work with North Korea and depending upon China to exert its influence.
Mot probably no one knows what is going on inside the mind of Kim Jong Il. Is there a power struggle? Is North Korea actually intending to initiate military aggression? Are its leaders filled with paranoid fantasies about being invaded? China, more than any nation, can not allow military action to occur on its border. At this point, hopefully China must assume leadership.