BEIJING -- There was confusion at the China-North Korea border Thursday after Chinese tour operators halted trips into the North.Read the rest here.
It wasn't clear whether the instruction to do so came from the Chinese authorities, the North Koreans, or was made by the nervous operators themselves.
But it mirrored a wider confusion over Chinese policy toward Pyongyang, which depends on Beijing for food and fuel, as well as diplomatic support.
As North Korea readies what is thought to be a missile test, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei has spent most of the week deflecting questions with the official line that "all sides" should show restraint and begin dialogue, and that peace and stability are a "shared responsibility."
But in an interview with NBC News he was more forthright about China's growing concern. "We do not want to see chaos and conflict on China's doorstep," he said.