China's dilemma on eccentric North Korea
China is ruthlessly acting in its own self interest, which it sees as maintaining regional stability at all costs. Many followers of the two previous leftist Korean governments have looked to China, more than the United States as their model and future ally. This incident should give the Korean left reason to pause and revaluate their position. China's interest and South Korea's interest diverge when it comes to North Korea while the United States remains South Korea's defender and strongest ally. Recent polls show an increase in support for Korea's conservative president Lee Myung-bak. Maybe the reality that North Korea is still a real threat is being better understood by otherwise skeptics of the current administrations more hardline polices. I am afraid however that many on the Korean left will simply blame this crisis on Mr. Lee's tougher stance towards North Korea.