The death of the despot not only gave their leaders sleepless nights but also to China, the regime’s closest ally. All eyes are now on Beijing as it is perceived that any action taken by the regime has the support and endorsement from Beijing. To what extend does Beijing approve of Pyongyang’s action, we may not know but six decades ago Chairman Mao used to say that North Korea is one of China’s buffer state from American invasion of China. He heralded that China must protect the Communist north by all means and since then China had been standing steadfast besides its ally.
The real key holder to peace in the region lies in the hand of leaders in Beijing, not Pyongyang. No country had the level of influence over North Korea as China does. Beijing influenced its foreign policy, controlled its military needs and it depends on China for almost everything to keep its otherwise bankrupt economy running.
With tension with Vietnam erupted over fishing rights and seabed on the South China Sea, Beijing would for the time being avoid any tension on its northeast. Furthermore, China is in the midst of leadership change and it would want to avoid any controversies especially related to the sensitive North Korea.