BEIJING (AP) -- As North Korea prepares a potential missile test and issues threats almost daily, the Obama administration is hoping yet again that China can force its unruly neighbor to stand down.
It's a strategy that has produced uneven results over decades of American diplomacy, during which Pyongyang has developed and tested nuclear weapons and repeatedly imperiled peace on the Korean peninsula.
But with only the counterthreat of overwhelming force to offer the North Koreans, the U.S. has little choice but to rely on Beijing to de-escalate tensions in a peaceful manner.
The question of how Washington can persuade Beijing to exert real pressure on Korean leader Kim Jong Un's unpredictable regime is front and center as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets Saturday with Chinese leaders in Beijing.
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