Seoul Sees North Korea Moving Away from Confrontation

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on February 2, 2010

Despite North Korea’s salvos last week of artillery shells towards the disputed maritime border with South Korea, the Seoul government expects Pyongyang’s communist regime to seek inter-Korean détente and better ties with the West. South Korean Unification Minister Hyun In Taek on Feb. 2 described the firing and other North Korean provocations in recent weeks as “fallout” from defiant policies of Northern leader Kim Jong Il in 2008 and 2009, when the country undertook missile and nuclear tests. “If you look at the big picture, North Korea is in the process of coming out for dialogue from its hardline stance,” he told foreign correspondents in Seoul.

While North Korea has been sending out mixed signals, Seoul is encouraged by Kim’s policy shift placing a high priority on economic development. North and South Korea on Feb. 1 held talks in the joint industrial zone just north of the Korean border on ways to promote economic cooperation only days after the three-day firing of artillery shells near southern islands. There were no casualties from the salvos.


In another indication that the North wants to mend ties with the South, Pyongyang has offered to reopen a North Korean mountain resort to South Korean tourists. The tourism project used to give the cash-strapped communist nation tens of millions of dollars annually before Pyongyang closed it in 2008. “If South-North relations improve and economic cooperation picks up, the North Korean economy will get a boost,” Hyun said.

Underlining Kim Jong Il’s policy priority, the North Korean leader doubled his inspection trips to factories and power plants in January from a year earlier, according to the Seoul ministry. It told Bloomberg News that half of the 20 “field guidance” trips made by Kim in January were to economic projects, more than double the four such trips a year earlier. “You cannot be completely optimistic (about North Korea) but you can read its posturing for dialogue,” says Hyun.

Reader Comments

Interconnect

February 2, 2010 5:58 AM

Conflicts/controversies whether North/South Korea, East/West Germany's, East/West Pakistan, the sub-continent of India-Pakistan. How unification of Germany's, the break-up o, Berlin Wall helped Germany people. North Korea would flourish prosper, likewise. The WTO should also assist nations with dispute should suffer in trade concessions, climatology, water resources, crop failure.

C. H. Ng

February 2, 2010 9:29 PM

Both North & South Korea are consist of people of a same race but divided by different ideology; not by her people but their governments or rather certain small groups of powerful people within their government bodies & which are backed by other countries with agendas to keep them divided that way.

I won't say which government is better, Communist North or Democratic South, but one thing is for sure in pure economic sense. The former by keeping a tight close door policy definitely lose out to her southern counterpart, because no man is (and can be) an island.

So hopefully her leader, Kim Jong Il, will realise his follies and open out the country for the benefits of her people and set an unification of Korea, before time catches up with him and he misses the boat to be remembered in Korean history as the one who brought peace, prosperity & unification to his motherland.

SUCCESS

February 2, 2010 11:05 PM

If we value success in terms of reproduction rates..clearly North Korea is ahead of South Korea. I don't know what Modern or Western civilizations are happy about when they are not reproducing at a healthy rate. All great civilizations will become extinct if newer generations don't reproduce. Successful civilizations are the ones that leave healthier and stronger offsprings.

Joshua

February 3, 2010 9:23 PM

Why are we even talking with N. Korea anyway? They are practically a modern day Nazi Germany!

If a man commits a "crime," his family and relatives are all guilty of it. They are sent to gulags and tortured for the rest of their life and even after death (their corpses are struck with rocks).

Infants born from dissidents?
EXECUTION by neck stomp.

So if we help N. Korea, even with successful negotiations, we help stomp the baby.

Jcage

February 16, 2010 11:38 PM

Ten Chinese migrant workers are living in a public toilet in the city of Hangzhou, according to local media. They are believed to have been living there for several months, and the toilet is now kitted out with a bed, cooking facilities and a television. One of the women said she could not afford to rent a room or pay normal living expenses. Correspondents say the story highlights the poor pay and living conditions of many migrant workers in China. China's rapid economic growth has transformed the country, says the BBC's China analyst Shirong Chen - but many migrant workers are struggling. China has an estimated 20 million migrants, who have moved from the poorer countryside to find work in the rapidly expanding cities and manufacturing hubs.

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