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Leaked cables: China considers N. Korea `spoiled child`

Posted December. 01, 2010 11:36,   


U.S. diplomatic files leaked to the WikiLeaks Web site show that China says North Korea behaves like a "spoiled child" but knows less about the North than previously thought.

The leaks suggest that though China opposes U.S. policy toward the North, it is also losing patience with its long-time ally. Beijing has also apparently lost trust in Pyongyang after the latter test-fired missiles and conducted its second nuclear test last year.

According to the cables, a high-ranking South Korean official was quoted as telling U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Kathleen Stephens in February, “Younger-generation Chinese Communist Party leaders no longer regard North Korea as a useful or reliable ally and would not risk renewed armed conflict on the (Korean) peninsula.”

The leaks also found that acceptance of a South Korea-led reunification of the peninsula is gaining ground in China on condition that Seoul is not hostile to Beijing.

WikiLeaks documents also said Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister He Yafei told U.S. officials that Pyongyang in April last year behaved like a "spoiled child" to get Washington`s attention through the missile tests.

This is different from what China told the U.N. Security Council on the North’s tests, which was that Pyongyang notified Beijing beforehand on sending a satellite into orbit and that related countries should exercise self-restraint and make joint efforts to ensure peace and stability of the region.

Another document said China has less influence over the North than is usually presumed and that the North’s internal information has hidden sides. In February last year, the U.S. consulate in Shanghai sent cables saying Chinese experts who knew the North best thought a group of high-level military officials would likely take over for North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and that heir apparent Kim Jong Un would probably not succeed him.