Want to know why China is getting as close to selling out their North Korean allies as they possibly dare? Why, of course you do. So check this out from Channel NewsAsia:
Trade between China and South Korea now stands at US$42 billion, and is set to grow further.
South Korea has also emerged as the sixth largest foreign investor, and a leading source of technology transfers in China.
That is a far cry from trade with Pyongyang, which stands at a low US$1.2 million, mostly from buying North Korean zinc, aluminium, and scrap metal.
So it comes as little surprise that many are counting on China to defuse the nuclear crisis, so as to protect its economic self-interest and ensure its stability.
Before you go and email me with all the other reasons for China's actions, let me list them here first:
Yes, China fears that if North Korea gets (more) nukes, then so will South Korea, and possibly Japan and Taiwan, too.
True, Beijing desires a deal where the US or some combination of states gives the North enough money to keep refugees out of China.
Of course, China simply can't afford a war just yet.
And I already know, thank you, that China desires to be seen as a responsible member of the community of nations, that their real concern lies across the Taiwan Straits, and that they really need to keep open their trade links with the US.
But never underestimate the importance of this little fact: South Korea makes cheap televisions.
I'm exaggerating here, but not by much. China's middle class is growing quickly, and if they aren't kept happy then there's a-gonna be trouble. South Korea makes all kinds of decent-but-cheap consumer electronics that China can't yet make herself