A Chinese delegation visited Kim Jong-il this week to press for reengagement on the North's nuclear program. The US, which has said it's open to talks, must deal with a deeply suspicious S. Korean leadership.
Ai Weiwei, who helped design Beijing's Olympic stadium, is recovering from brain surgery in Europe after being assaulted by an officer who broke into his hotel room in August. Mr. Ai has been a critic of China's handling of its 2008 earthquake.
Many see Pyongyang's recent friendly gestures as a tactical move. The US moved Tuesday to freeze the assets of two North Korean entities, while South Korea accused the North of unleashing a deadly flash flood.