The ongoing difficulties in the Korean peninsula come as China appears increasingly prepared to abandon North Korea.
According to leaked US diplomatic papers released by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, Beijing seems to be losing patience with the leadership in Pyongyang.
The latest revelation made the front pages of several international broadsheets, suggesting China would be ready to countenance reunification of Korea under the control of Seoul.
Earlier, North Korea’s special envoy arrived in China amid a flurry of diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the latest stand-off in the region.
Historically close, China has long seen the North as a strategic buffer against the US and it’s allies, however the latest documents mean Beijing may be ready to ditch its long-time friend.