South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has reiterated his belief that the reunification of North and South Korea, which in the context of his comments means the absorption of North Korean territory under South Korea’s control, is “drawing near.”
Lee urged the Chinese government to prepare North Korea for this eventual reunification by pressing them to open their economy and embrace a Chinese-style economic system. He provided no timetable for the reunification.
South Korea’s president has broached the subject of reunification in the past but those comments seem to be picking up speed in the wake of a WikiLeaks cable release citing a South Korean official claiming China was resigned to the eventual collapse of North Korea and had no serious problem with South Korea annexing it.
The comments however do seem to be riling up North Korea, which has responded by saying that it feels vindicated in its attempts to increase the size of its nuclear weapon arsenal to fend off the possibility of an attempt at regime change.