North Korean soldiers stand guard on a North Korean island near the Chinese border town of Dandong on December 15, 2013.  China has lost its key North Korean interlocutor with the purging of Kim Jong-Un's uncle, but analysts say the young leader's tightening grip on power may be welcomed by Beijing, which prizes stability in its wayward nuclear-armed ally.       AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)