Nightly News   |  April 11, 2013

China: the ‘only ones with leverage’ on North Korea

As Kerry heads to Seoul, South Korea, tensions with North Korea continue to rise as it remains unclear whether or not the latest rhetoric is merely Kim Jong-un showing off his military strength. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>>> our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell has also just arrived in seoul tonight. that's because secretary of state john kerry is due to arrive just hours from now. andrea, with things so hot, it seems almost quaint, a throwback to ask if there could be diplomatic talks, a diplomatic solution to this.

>> reporter: i think the key to everything is china. we don't know really what kim jong really wants. but the view is that maybe this is just, as richard has been reporting, trying to show off his military strength and possibly leading to economic reform . china is the only company that can pressure him. secretary kerry was in london meeting with all the foreign ministers , even the russians getting on board on this. and, brian, they are all saying he's got to come here to seoul. they hope he can try to reinforce the commitment to the south koreans so they will not do anything precipitous. if there is an attack they won't retaliate. that's the hope. then on to china in the next couple of days to persuade the chinese to be much more forceful with their client state , north korea . they are the only ones with leverage.

>> andrea mitchell who is in position to cover the timely and delicate visit of our secretary of state john kerry .