From the Joongang Daily:
China told North Korean leader Kim Jong-il during his recent visit that it will respect international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang and refused to provide extraordinary economic assistance, an informed source here told the JoongAng Ilbo.Bloomberg also has the story, which is basically a report on the JAD story.
According to the source, the Chinese government’s position prompted Kim to cut short his stay in China.
“At the luncheon between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Kim on May 6, the Chinese government informed the North that China will not provide aid outside the framework of the United Nations Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang,” the source said.
If this is true, that's quite a game-changer. It could signal that Beijing is growing tired of Pyongyang's antics, and perhaps North Korea crossed a line by committing an act that could lead to real military confrontation, something China would prefer not to see. I'm not holding my breath that China will follow any UNSC sanctions to the letter, though, as Beijing might prefer to find some wiggle room in the sanctions regimen rather than seeing the DPRK collapse and taken over by an ally of the US.
The second story is about two North Korean patrol boats that may have deliberately crossed the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border that North Korea rejects but which South Korea enforces religiously:
In an apparent attempt to highlight the disputed border in the peninsula’s western waters, North Korean patrol boats crossed the inter-Korean maritime border twice Saturday night and retracted after warning shots from a Southern ship. ...South Korea's military is in a precarious situation in which a major provocation — the deliberate killing of dozens of sailors — has yet to be met with retaliation, and this could prompt North Korea to keep testing the waters, so to speak, to see how far they can go before they get a reaction.
According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a North Korean patrol boat approached the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas in the Yellow Sea, at 10 p.m. on Saturday. The South Korean Navy patrol sent a warning to the ship by radio, and in response the North’s boat accused the South’s patrol of having violated its territorial waters.
The North Korean boat continued to descend and crossed the Northern Limit Line at 10:13 p.m. despite repeated warnings, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After staying in South Korean waters for about 30 minutes, the ship went back at 10:43 p.m., the military said.
Another North Korean patrol boat, according to the military, crossed the border at 11:30 p.m., despite the South Korean Navy’s warnings. After a second warning was sent, the South Korean Navy fired two warning shots and the North Korean ship retreated at 11:39 p.m., the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
And it does seem a reaction is what they want, if the goal is to make the North Korean public feel threatened from without so that they will be distracted from the problems within. If North Korean sailors are blown out of the water, the ruling elite may get what they want.
Northcorea has always been at war with Southkorea.