Zakaria: US, China could solve Korean problem
Time/5 p.m. Abu Dhabi/9 p.m. Hong Kong.
New York (CNN) -- The United States and China could play a crucial role in helping finally to resolve the conflict that plagues the Korean Peninsula, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.
In one of the most violent incidents in decades, North Korea shelled a South Korean island Tuesday, killing four people.
North Korea accused the South of provoking the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island by holding a military exercise in the Yellow Sea. And South Korea responded by charging that the North's actions were a "definite military provocation."
In an interview with CNN, Zakaria said a long-term solution to the Korean conflict would require high-level secret talks aimed at assuring the government of China that if the two Koreas were reunified, it would not be faced with a nuclear-armed U.S. ally on its border.
He said China "has the power to make the North Koreans pay a very, very high price were they not to listen to the Chinese, because the Chinese provide the vital food and fuel that keeps the country alive. Remember, this is a country with almost no indigenous economic activity, and so it would be very difficult for them to meet their most vital supply needs."
"The Chinese have a lot of influence. They have so far been very careful to apply some pressure, but they have almost never cut off food or fuel -- except for a day or two when they have really wanted to send a strong signal, and, by the way when they have done that, it's worked, it gets the North Koreans' attention."
The author and host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" spoke to CNN on Tuesday. Here is an edited transcript: