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China is key to stopping N. Korea nukes, intel official says

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A former senior intelligence official told Congress on Tuesday that China may hold the keys to pressuring North Korea into abandoning its nuclear program.

"China is an ally of a North Korea that needs China's economic assistance," said Joseph R. DeTrani, who served as the U.S. intelligence communities top official on North Korea from 2010 through last year.

While multi-party diplomatic talks between Western leaders and North Korea have foundered in recent years, Mr. DeTrani told a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that China may be able to "help convince the leadership in Pyongyang that the current escalatory path North Korea is pursuing will be disastrous."

His remarks came even as the government of 28-year-old Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un threatened to end its 60-year-old cease fire with South Korea.

The threat followed news from the U.N. that the U.S. has struck a tentative deal with China to tighten international sanctions on North Korea in response to the rogue regime carrying out a nuclear test last month — its third controlled nuclear explosion.

North Korea's military also said it will also cut off direct phone links to South Korea.

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