In a surprising diplomatic breakthrough, China and the US said that North Korea (NK) has agreed to rejoin the 6-nation nuclear disarmament tasks 3 weeks after its first nuclear test and an exchange of bellicose statements exacerbated by confusing news reports. Apparently, China hosted an unpublicized three-way discussion in Beijing between the US , China , and NK in a government guesthouse where the decision to resume 6-way discussions was reached.
Marking the first positive development to ease tensions with US and Japan promising crippling sanctions with China opposing escalation and Russia and South Korea caught in the middle, it shows a high level of maturity of US-China inter-working over the issue and have had calibrated responses on key issues. For instance, both nations have categorically rejected the NK assertion that it is now a nuclear power. While this was a major hurdle, the worse ones are yet to come.
NK would undoubtedly insist on US fulfilling the hastily signed and much-criticized agreement that promised financial and technology aid and lowering of war rhetoric. The US is rightfully bound to insist on unconditional capping and roll back of nuclear programs. If the US appears to capitulate and agrees to terms by NK in exchange for the rollback, it will send the wrong signal to other nations such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Venezuela that the US will forgive proliferating nations with diplomatic and economically largesse. Worse, it may even inspire more such actors.