Go to contents

THE DONG-A ILBO Logo

Pyongyang takes a two-pronged strategy

Posted July. 08, 2014 07:16,   

Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00

한국어

There is no easy way. North Korea has come up with a two-pronged strategy. It said it would send a cheering squad for the Incheon Asian Games in September, while not letting down its guard.

“We should end the state of reckless hostility and confrontation and open a way to reconciliation and unity,” Pyongyang said in the highest-level government statement on Monday. “We decided to send a cheering squad with athletes for the Asian Games.” It stressed that the proposal was made on the 20th anniversary of the date when the late North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, signed the document on the inter-Korean summit on July 7, 1994, one day before his death.

While showing a gesture of reconciliation, Pyongyang released a series of Kim Jong Un’s hawkish remarks implying provocations. It reiterated that it does not intend to give up nuclear weapons, saying, “Nuclear weapons are not an obstacle to unification but collateral for peace and security.” It also mentioned “halting mutual slandering” and the suspension of “invasion rehearsal (the Korea-U.S. joint military drill),” which the North has incessantly pushed for since early this year. In addition, the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s mouthpiece, said on Saturday, “Our southwestern waters (meaning the northern limited line or NLL) are threatened and we are waiting (for the right moment).” It also said on Monday, “Once the fight begins, let’s make our enemies sink in the water.”

Pyongyang also criticized the summit between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping. It said in a statement, “Both North and South Korea should oppose reliance on foreign power and address all issues on our own. Foreign power can never represent our folk’s interests forever.” It also mentioned nuclear weapons and said, “North and South Korea should never allow the unfair actions of foreign power, which are trying to interfere with our folk’s internal issues and fight together against it.” It is interpreted as North Korea’s dissatisfaction with President Xi’s visit to Seoul ahead of Pyongyang and opposition to North Korea’s nuclear development.

While saying that it will send a cheering squad to the Incheon Asian Games, North Korea said, “We should immediately end the abnormal situation that encourages the hostility against the DPRK with the eradication of North Korean sympathizers.”

Seoul has decided to accept North Korean supporters in line with the international practices in sports. However, it sees that North Korea’s statement is “unreasonable.” It means it will respond differently to supporters and North Korea’s statement. “It can never address any problem by forcing its one-sided argument or trying to pass the buck to others, “Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do said, “It is hard to accept its claim that nuclear weapons will bring peace and prosperity to the folks, not an obstacle to unification or better inter-Korean relations.”

A source from the South Korean government said on North Korea’s recent movements, “North Korea is showing dissatisfaction with China, which is trying to get closer to South Korea while pressuring North Korea and showing off its efforts to improve inter-Korean relations. Unless South Korea responds to this, the North would try to pass the buck to the South for causing a military confrontation.” This is also supported by Kim Jong Un’s hawkish remarks on the South in a military drill, which were made right after the North’s National Defense Commission issued a special proposal on the improvement of the inter-Korean relationship on last Monday.