The speed with which the fishing boat dispute turned ugly suggests how little has been achieved in China-Japan reconciliation over the past five years, say analysts.
The ruling elite of North Korea meet this week and may anoint a successor to Kim Jong-il -- possibly his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, who was made a military general. This leadership transition, however, won't go easily. China needs to stop propping up a weak, violent regime.
North Korea's release of a fishing boat and its seven-man crew in exchange for humanitarian aid could bode well for North and South Korean reconciliation.
South Korea pledged $8.4 million in humanitarian aid Tuesday. Kim Jong-il apparently procured little aid from China on his recent visit.
The tough economic sanctions set by President Obama against North Korea and its elite are a risky move, but they are set amid a new US strategy to stand up to China and its expanding influence in Asia.
Jimmy Carter left North Korea with American Aijalon Gomes and a message that Kim Jong-il wants to resume six-party talks, even if he didn't want to talk to Carter.
Kim Jong-il's visit to China comes as Jimmy Carter visits Pyongyang to seek the release of an imprisoned American.
Jimmy Carter was greeted Wednesday by North Korea’s nuclear envoy, Kim Kye-gwan, which analysts say is a signal North Korea wants the visit to be about much more than the release of US prisoner Aijalon Mahli Gomes.
Jimmy Carter's North Korea trip this week may echo a successful meeting he had in Pyongyang 16 years ago. But can he secure the release of an American hostage as fellow former President Bill Clinton did last year?
South Korea President Lee on Sunday emphasized coexistence and proposed a unification tax to prepare for any future collapse of North Korea. Monday, he expressed strong support for this week's war games with the United States.