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Zheng Jiyong and Wang Xingxing

The border between North Korea and China extends for 880 miles; the history between China and North Korea goes back to the outbreak of the Korean War in 1948; and relationships between North Korea and China embody a plethora of issues across the spectrum of security and development issues. Although in this book there is a focus on the security relationship between these two states, this chapter specifically seeks to draw on the unconsidered aspects of their relationship: healthcare, cyber space, and gender. In discussing these issues the authors draw on the experiences they have gained through over a decade of visits to North Korea, highlighting the importance shifts they have witnessed – particularly since 2018. Overall, the argument of the chapter is that it is important to consider all aspects of the relationship between these states in a holistic manner, as these issues are not discrete and unrelated but instead present an interconnected web of opportunities and challenges. Most significantly, developments inside North Korea are often overlooked or denigrated, but they are significant for the population within its borders.