Delegates from South Korea (left) and North Korea wrap up a working-group meeting in the border village of Panmunjom in advance of talks that were scheduled for Wednesday in Seoul. South Korean Unification Ministry/AP hide caption

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Cars drive past barricades on the road linking North Korea's Kaesong Industrial Complex at a military checkpoint in Paju, near the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas, on Thursday. Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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North Korean soldiers marched past statues of founder Kim Il Sung and his son, former leader Kim Jong Il, on Monday in Pyongyang. North Korea celebrated Kim Il Sung's 101st birthday. Kyodo /Landov hide caption

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On 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep speaks with Andrei Lankov about North Korea

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Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Kerry sought China's help in easing tensions on the Korean peninsula. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A South Korean soldier stands at a military checkpoint connecting South and North Korea at the Unification Bridge last week in Paju, South Korea. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images hide caption

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NPR's Tom Gjelten and Melissa Block discuss the story

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On Wednesday, a North Korean soldier looked on from the banks of the Yalu River on the border with China. Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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From 'Morning Edition': Frank Langfitt and David Greene discuss the latest news from the Korean peninsula

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Japan is on full alert ahead of an expected mid-range missile launch by North Korea, its defense minister said as the U.N. warned of a potentially 'uncontrollable' situation. A Japanese soldier walks past a missile launcher deployed in Tokyo. Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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