The leaders of China can be convinced by the United States to put pressure on the North Korean regime, says a military analyst.
One argument about China and the U.S., he notes, is that China holds billions in U.S. treasury bills.
"The blunt reality is," says Lippold, "China needs that $250-billion dollars plus a year in order to sustain their middle class. If they don't have that, the middle class collapses and the government's out of power."
China has another serious problem: because of its one-child policy, a war would kill off an entire generation of military officers and enlisted personnel.
"They can't afford that either," says Lippld. "President Xi is aware of this. That is why he is going to focus on it."