China and North Korea became communist comrades during the Cold War. Since then, China has bolted forward — toward free markets and openness — while a paranoid Kim Jong-il has closed North Korea’s borders, causing the country’s economy to collapse.
The relationship between China and North Korea, once based on a shared ideology, is rupturing as North Korea flouts its nuclear potential. Meanwhile, South Korea and China are forging business ties. The United States worries that North Korea’s strongest ties are to terrorist groups. China does not want a dissolving state with nuclear weapons at its border as it grows into an economic behemoth.
Click the “Listen” link above to hear about North Korea and its fragile relationship with China.
Gordon Fairclough, Wall Street Journal correspondent in Seoul
Derek Mitchell, senior fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Scott Snyder, Korea representative, The Asia Foundation