North Korea's Mounting Troubles

The last few weeks have been rough for North Korea. After the country provoked international ire by test-firing seven ballistic missiles, the United Nations Security Council voted to bar U.N. member states from trading missile-related technology and materials with the North. South Korea is holding back rice and fertilizer aid; Japan is preparing to impose its own economic sanctions including tough restrictions on high-tech exports to the North. Then Typhoon Ewiniar battered one-third of the country, leaving upward of 60,000 villagers homeless.

Even Pyongyang's friends have proved fickle. Last week, South Korean newspapers reported that China, the North's...

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