Korea Map1On January 1st, 2015, BBC News cited from the New Year’s speech of Kim Yong-Un as the North Korean leader “has offered to hold talks at the highest level with South Korea” and “if Pyongyang's conditions were met, he would even be prepared to hold a summit meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye”[1]. This statement might announce Pyongyang’s new attitude to accept dialogue regarding the common matters of the Korean peninsula. In spite of all positive presumptions, many international journalists are skeptical in regards with the organization of a future bilateral summit between the two Koreas. Al Jazeera mentioned on January 12 that “there is no sign of any concrete plan for a meeting between the two leaders”[2] as, lately, the North Korean leader has sent “contradictory signals” by rejecting “a call by South Korea's parliament for a resumption of negotiations on various issues including North Korea's human rights record, and families still separated by the Korean War”[3].

The two inter-Korean summits from 2000 and 2007 have brought face to face the Kim Jong-Il and two presidents from South Korea, Kim Dae-Jung and Lee Myung Bak. They might represent a foundation (unstable considering the cash-for-summit scandal in 2003) for new talks between the two parties. Al Jazeera’s reporter from Seoul, Harry Fawcett considered that, taking into account their massively different expectations, the two Korean leaders might prove themselves to be unable to reach a consensus: “With the recent statement on New Year's day by Kim Jong-un in which he said he was open to a summit if the conditions were correct, Park Geun-hye seem to have dropped the clause about only having a summit if there can be real progress. Now the likelihood of getting into an actual summit though is somewhat more difficult”[4].

We know that “South Korea's President Park Geun-hye has said she is prepared to hold talks with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un without setting pre-conditions”[5] according to BBC News from January 12; we also know that the new South Korea defense white paper shows “significant” concerns about the North Korean nuclear threats and still considers North Korea to be an “enemy”. On January 7, The Diplomat discussed that “according to reports based on the most recent biennial South Korean defense white paper released on Tuesday, North Korea has achieved to a “significant” degree the ability to miniaturize a nuclear device. Such a device could be placed on the tip of an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) for long-range delivery. Developing a reliable deliverable nuclear warhead for mounting on its Taepodong series of long-range ballistic missiles has been one of the major goals of the North Korean nuclear program”[6].

Unlikely or likely, a bilateral summit between North and South Korea has become a need for the both sides in the context of the recent involvement of the US in the cyber issues. Obama’s Asian policy continues to be a priority for the American foreign relations agenda as an imperative to deal with the rise of China and “dangerous” shifts in regional policies (e.g. Japan). External pressure from major states like US, Japan or China might be the crucial catalysts needed for achieving new development in the inter-Korean talks, as it was a major precondition of the two previous summits.

[1] “North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un proposes summit”, BBC News, January 1, 2015, at the Internet address http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30647442.

[2] “South Korean leader open to summit with North”, Al Jazeera, January 12, 2015, at the Internet address http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2015/01/south-korean-leader-open-summit-with-north-201511214552617775.html.

[3] Ibidem.

[4] Ibidem.

[5] “South Korea's Park 'open' to meeting with North leader”, BBC News, January 12, 2015, at the Internet address http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30773813.

[6] Ankit PANDA, “South Korea Notes 'Significant' North Korean Nuclear Advances”, The Diplomat, January 7, 2015, at the Internet address http://thediplomat.com/2015/01/south-korea-notes-significant-north-korean-nuclear-advances/.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...