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Byline: Michael A. Lev
BEIJING _ With no diplomatic breakthrough in sight, the North Korean nuclear standoff has devolved into a surreal game of waiting for the next military provocation by Pyongyang.
On Friday, the latest attempt at the United Nations to demand North Korea's cooperation appeared to have stalled after China refused to attend Security Council meetings to draft a statement calling on Pyongyang to back down.
The Chinese government is pushing for the United States and North Korea to sit down together for talks, apparently believing it would be counterproductive and potentially dangerous to use the Security Council to box North Korea into a corner.
The United States wants North Korea to …