2019-10-16 09:21 KST  
Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?
North Korea Groping for Timesaving Tactics
[Analysis] Inter-Korean matters have been dwarfed by the hostage crisis
Lee Byong-chul (merrycow)     Print Article 
Published 2007-08-09 04:55 (KST)   
This article is only lightly edited.  <Editor's Note>
In inter-Korean relations, it's frequently said that good news and bad news often coexist. Pyongyang's refusal to participate in an annual inter-Korean event to mark Liberation Day on Aug. 15 in Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, was surely bad news. It will likely now become extremely difficult to establish the so-called institutionalization of inter-Korean dialogue that began to work in a full manner following the South-North summit meeting of 2000.

Firstly, North Korea was politically quick to strike an ideological chord again by claiming that it does not want lawmakers from the conservative Grand National Party to take the main seats and deliver speeches at the ceremony. Apparently, the North did not hide its uneasiness over the highly possible victory of the GNP in the December presidential election. The GNP's recent change of policies toward North Korea -- despite the political backlash from traditional conservatives -- did not seem to satisfy the North at all.

OMNI's New Approach to Citizen Journalism
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Technology Can Save Money, Planet
[Opinion] Iran Defends Peaceful 'Right'
Couchsurfing in Gaza
Balancing Work, Life, And Children
More than policy needed to raise birthrates
The European Dream: 2 Children
Happy 10th Birthday to OhmyNews
[Opinion] America Can Be Asia셲 Copilot
Secondly, North Korea's boycott reflects its attempt to distance Seoul from Washington by demanding a stop to the upcoming annual Ulji Focus Lens military exercise. The North wanted to lend an element of anti-Americanism to South Korean liberals' calculations so they would protest against the exercise.

Thirdly, North Korea should be very satisfied with what it has so far obtained from South Korea and the United States for shutting down its nuclear facilities -- for example, rice and heavy oil. In other words, it goes without saying that North Korea has successfully garnered what it wanted, and thus has found it unnecessary to respond hastily to South Korea.

Lastly, the North seemed to take into consideration the South Korean hostages being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Obviously, inter-Korean matters, including the nuclear issue, have been relatively dwarfed by the hostage crisis. It is thus estimated that the event could run counter to the liberal faction's wishes unless the hostages are successfully released before it starts. The North Korean delegation could become "unwanted guests" while causing some sharp conflicts between the conservatives and the liberals.

Pyongyang was adroit enough to offer the mid-September inter-Korean ministerial talks one day before it notified Seoul of its Busan event boycott. North Korea fully remembers that the past inter-Korean talks worked wonders in terms of garnering economic assistances from South Korea. Its expectations may be misplaced now as the people are sick and tired of the South Korean government's seemingly one-way assistance.
©2007 OhmyNews

Add to :  Add to Del.icio.usDel.icio.us |  Add to Digg this Digg  |  Add to reddit reddit |  Add to Y! MyWeb Y! MyWeb

Ronda Hauben
Netizens Question Cause of Cheonan Tragedy
Michael Werbowski
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Michael Solis
Arizona's Immigration Bill and Korea
Yehonathan Tommer
Assassination in Dubai
[ESL/EFL Podcast] Saying No
Seventeenth in a series of English language lessons from Jennifer Lebedev...
  [ESL/EFL] Talking About Change
  [ESL/ EFL Podcast] Personal Finances
  [ESL/EFL] Buying and Selling
How worried are you about the H1N1 influenza virus?
  Very worried
  Somewhat worried
  Not yet
  Not at all
    * Vote to see the result.   
  copyright 1999 - 2019 ohmynews all rights reserved. internews@ohmynews.com Tel:+82-2-733-5505,5595(ext.125) Fax:+82-2-733-5011,5077