Walking the Tightrope

Hard-liners in George W. Bush's administration, never known for their diplomatic bedside manner, have called it the "strangulation strategy": forcing the North Korean despot Kim Jong Il to shelve his nuclear weapons program by cutting off his isolated country from trade and aid.

One of the most visible obstacles to that strategy is the Friendship Bridge across the Yalu River in northeastern China. The span connects the city of Dandong with North Korea, and every day pedicab drivers and minivans haul their goods across the Yalu, bringing scissors and shampoo, fruit and vegetables, and even DVD players...

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