China set to desert N Korea | world | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 16, 2017-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

China set to desert N Korea

China has signalled its readiness to accept Korean reunification and is privately distancing itself from the North Korean regime, according to leaked US embassy cables that reveal senior Beijing figures regard their official ally as a “spoiled child”.

world Updated: Dec 01, 2010 01:26 IST

China has signalled its readiness to accept Korean reunification and is privately distancing itself from the North Korean regime, according to leaked US embassy cables that reveal senior Beijing figures regard their official ally as a “spoiled child”.

News of the Chinese shift comes at a crucial juncture after the North’s artillery bombardment of a South Korean island last week that killed four people and led both sides to threaten war.

China has refused to condemn the North Korean action. But today Beijing appeared to bow to US pressure to help bring about a diplomatic solution, calling for “emergency consultations” and inviting a senior North Korean official to Beijing.

China is critical of US pressure tactics towards North Korea and wants a resumption of the six-party nuclear disarmament talks. But the Guardian can reveal Beijing’s frustration with Pyongyang has grown since its missile and nuclear tests last year, worries about the economic impact of regional instability, and fears that the death of the dictator, Kim Jong-il, could spark a succession struggle.

China’s moves to distance itself from Kim are revealed in the latest tranche of leaked US embassy cables published by the Guardian and four international newspapers.

Previously tensions between Pyongyang and its only ally were also exposed by China’s then vice-foreign minister in a meeting in April 2009 with a US embassy official after North Korea blasted a three-stage rocket over Japan into the Pacific. Pyongyang said its purpose was to send a satellite into orbit but the US, South Korea and Japan saw the launch as a test of long-range missile technology.