Thermodynamic conditions for spontaneous grain boundary wetting (GBW) and stress driven liquid metal embrittlement (LME) are related to each other. Kinetic mechanism responsible for fast GB penetration (GBP) under small stress is described. Dissolution–condensation mechanism of LME and linear fracture mechanics for calculation of crack profile are applied to the classical system “Al-liquid Ga”. The results tend to support the idea that the recently observed fast linear penetration of Ga along 150° tilt <110> GB of Al should be considered as propagation of LME crack under small residual stress rather than as spontaneous GBW. With the residual tensile stress σ≈ 0.5MPa acting normal to the GB plane, all major findings reported for this model system are explained in semi quantitative way assuming that GB spreading coefficient is extremely small by its absolute value, i.e. that the system is near the threshold of spontaneous GBW.