From Toledo to the Far East: On North Korea, China is Hands Off

Beijing, China (WTOL) - North Korea tested a second medium-range ground to ground ballistic missile leader Kim Jong-un reportedly describes as "perfect" while I am in China.

That's two missile launch tests in one week as North Korea continues on a path that could eventually result in developing the capacity to deliver a missile that can hit a target in the region such as South Korea and Japan, or even the U.S. west coast.

Government officials and experts in the U.S. and Japan tell me China has the most leverage with the rogue nation because it provides 90 percent of the goods traded with North Korea.

But why isn't China heeding the U.S. and its allies' calls to use this power to reign in North Korea?

A spokesperson tells me at a Chinese Department of Defense briefing I attended, that's not China's job.

"We are not like certain countries whose policies in foreign affairs are to mentor or coach or to intervene in other countries so that they need to do things in a certain way," insisted Army Senior Colonel Yujun Yang through a translator.

Experts here also tell me China may want to maintain this status quo to distract the U.S. and its allies from its military expansion in the region, specifically in the South China Sea.

Tensions show no sign of easing as North Korea indicates it will continue testing missiles, and the U.S. Navy is soon moving the USS Ronald Reagan to the area while the USS Carl Vinson continues operating there.