You may find something odd about China hosting talks with North Korea on Wednesday.
The invitation comes on the heels of an erratic week during which North Korea proposed negotiations and then snubbed South Korea.
This week, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui will meet North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan in Beijing.
A Chinese spokeswoman insisted the government is trying to stay in "close communication" with its neighbor to "promote each side to quickly restart dialogue and consultation."
(Read More: North Korea Sends Top Kim Jung-Un Aide to Beijing)
But why now?
Some analysts in Seoul say the reason could be straightforward: that Beijing has an interest in encouraging Pyongyang to gradually open up because it will bear the brunt of a volatile nuclear regime on its border.
China is not an ardent political ally of North Korea. But the two countries are economically tethered through trade and a number of highways and high-speed railways being built near their mutual border.
Yet Beijing harbors misgivings over North Korea's decision-making. In February, it advised Pyongyang not to carry out its third nuclear test, Reuters reported.