August 25, 2015 13:27
Beijing warned Pyongyang it would "deal sternly" with any provocation by the North if it interferes with events marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on Sept. 3, China's official Global Times reported.
The Global Times said the move appears mainly aimed at making sure nobody steals the thunder from a massive military parade on the day.
A diplomatic source in Beijing said, "On the surface, China appeared to be calling on both North and South Korea to exercise restraint, but Beijing seems to have been furious with the North for launching a provocation ahead of a major celebration in the Chinese capital."
Some experts speculated that the North intentionally tried to heighten tensions in inter-Korean relations to prevent President Park Geun-hye from attending the parade.
The two Koreas were at loggerheads over propaganda broadcasts Seoul resumed earlier this month after two South Korean soldiers were maimed by box mines the North had planted in the demilitarized zone. They agreed to defuse tensions after four days of marathons talks.
North Korea also conducted its third nuclear test in February of 2013 just ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's inauguration. The U.S. promptly deployed a nuclear-powered submarine and strategic bombers near the Korean Peninsula, alarming not only North Korea but China as well.
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