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Korea change?

Mark Sandell Mark Sandell | 10:40 UK time, Tuesday, 30 November 2010


The Wikileaks documents have thrown up another interesting development - the relationship between North Korea and China may not be as cosy as some people think.

Moreover, a unified Korea - under Seoul's control - wouldn't be out of the question for the Beijing regime.

Here's a cable that reveals that China's Vice Foreign Minister, He Yafei, told the US charge d'affaires in Beijing that North Korea was behaving like a "spoiled child" to get Washington's attention in April 2009 by carrying out missile tests.

And this dispatch reveals Mr He had downplayed Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's trip to Pyongyang, telling the US Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg: "We may not like them... [but] they are a neighbour."

But what about wind's of change on the peninsula? Can the two become one, so to speak?

We've already seen it on the sporting field. At the Sydney Games in 2000, north and south Korean athletes marched together at the opening ceremony behind a “unification flag” for the first time in the Olympics.

And as bidders make their final case to host the football World Cup in 2022, the South Korea bid will push its case for winning. They're arguing that theirs is the bid of unification and peace, with the prospect of games also being played in the north.

Their slogan is "Passion that Unites".

The recent exchanges of fire across the border is even more reason to bring one of the biggest sporting events back to them, they say.

But leave sport to one side. And if you think politically, social, economically - can Korea change?

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