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Saturday, 9 March 2013

North Korea in the News

If you haven't read about North Korea's new threats, then you should, for, among other things, they have threatened to "launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike" against the United States.



That was quite a morning wake up, as I live not too far from Seoul, the South Korean capital, reportedly targeted by thousands of North Korean artillery tubes.

Yet I think North Korea is playing a game--a very dangerous one--in which they are betting that cancelling the peace agreement with South Korea might give them an additional bargaining chip in the continued six-party talks which are surely to resume.

The role play would go something like this: "If you want us to reinstate the peace agreement, then you need to send us 500,000 tons of cooking oil."

With respect to the U.N. sanctions, China is finally on board, though whether or not they will seriously pressure North Korea remains to be answered.

China has, by most educated accounts, wanted North Korea as a buffer-zone between the U.S. influenced South Korea and China's own territory, yet now that North Korea is an unstable zone with nuclear weapons, China may be changing its view of North Korea.

Meanwhile, some experts think that the U.S. should try to engage North Korea in dialogue, though the fact that North Korea will want concessions is difficult for many to stomach.

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