North Korea's leading figure, Jang Sung-taek, vice-chairman of the National Defence Commission, visited China. It is told that Jang visited China to discuss matters related to the development of Hwanggumpyong Island and Naseon special economic zone. However, it is an unprecedented event for a leading figure of the N. Korean government to visit China for such a petty problem.
I'm guessing that North Korea, desperate from the devastating effects of economic reform, including the removal of its rationing system, is begging China for financial stimuli. The military is discontent about the removal of Ri Young-ho, and the North Korean regime has lost popularity amongst its people because of the shortage of food. So North Korea probably is in dire need of China's aid.
Last year, Kim Jong-il tried to put on a show at his week-long visit in China with his underlings, that North Korea is putting reform efforts, but failed to impress the Chinese leaders. It is no different this time. China, too, will no longer support North Korea if North Korea acts responsibly. If North Korea wants support and aid, North Korea must act responsibly and become more trustworthy. Trust is something earned, not given.