Over the past twenty-five years of nuclear diplomacy, the United States has tried military exercises, economic sanctions, and political isolation to pressure the North Korean leadership to behave more responsibly. But today, the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress find themselves in the same place as their predecessors—with policy decisions resulting only in stalemated negotiation, a consistent pattern of broken promises by Pyongyang, a plethora of ongoing human rights violations, and a burgeoning nuclear weapons and missile program. In the wake of North Korea’s third nuclear test in February 2013, its reckless threats to nuke Japan and the U.S., the continued provocation of South Korea and its decision to throw out the armistice that ended the Korean War, as well as the unwanted attention brought to China’s forced repatriation of North Korean refugees by the U.N. Commission of Inquiry, it appears that China stands poised to wield its massive influence over North Korea with coercive diplomacy and progressively harsher and more consistent punishments that aim to steer North Korea toward a better path.