Gen Next of Chinese leaders comfortable with a reunited Korea

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Washington, Nov.30 (ANI): A new, younger generation of Chinese leaders "would be comfortable with a reunited Korea controlled by Seoul and anchored to the United States in a benign alliance," a diplomat has said.

The dozens of State Department cables about North Korea obtained by the whistle blowing web site WikiLeaks don't suggest this. In fact, China's assessment of North Korea has often been startlingly wrong, the cables show.

According to the New York Times, the documents help explain why some South Korean and American officials suspect that the missile attack on a South Korean island last week, may be the last snarls of a dying dictatorship.

The cables reveal that in private, the Chinese, long seen as North Korea's last protectors against the West, occasionally provide the Obama administration with colourful assessments of the state of play in North Korea.

Chinese officials themselves sometimes even laugh about the frustrations of dealing with North Korea.hen James B. Steinberg, the deputy secretary of state, sat down in September 2009 with one of China's most powerful officials, Dai Bingguo, state councillor for foreign affairs, Dai joked that in a recent visit to North Korea he "did not dare" to be too candid with the ailing and mercurial North Korean leader.

But the Chinese official reported that although Kim Jong-il had apparently suffered a stroke and had obviously lost weight, he still had a "sharp mind" and retained his reputation among Chinese officials as "quite a good drinker."

The cables show that when it comes to the critical issue of succession, even the Chinese know little of the man who would be North Korea's next ruler: Kim Jong-un.

If Seoul is destined to control the entire Korean Peninsula for the first time since the end of World War II, China - the powerful ally that keeps the North alive with food and fuel - would have to be placated.

According to the NYT, South Korea has been planning to assure Chinese companies that they would have ample commercial opportunities in the mineral-rich northern part of the peninsula. (ANI)

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