Asia North Koreas New Hope? Jong-Un in Negotiations
Not months after the death of his father, the reportedly untested son of the long-time leader of the impoverished nation of The Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea has taken the lead; however, the young leader has shown some surprisingly different policy goals than his late father’s strict regime.
The press is currently saturated with news about a possible American/ North Korean swap deal, exchanging some of North Korea’s policy goals for 240 000 tonnes of foodstuffs aimed at alleviating the ever worsening starvation of the nation’s poorest and weakest.
Kim Jong- Un and his chief nuclear negotiator have made it clear several times that the nation’s government intends on going forward with the ‘swap’ which would see the North Korean’s suspend their uranium enrichment program and shelf their long range missile program. Furthermore, in a seeming act of goodwill the nation has officially re-accepted UN nuclear inspectors for the first time in years.
Riding on the coattails of this wave of press attention is the recent announcement of the launch of the DPRK’s newest satellite Kwangmyogsong-3; while the DPRK naturally claims that the use of the domestic satellites is their sovereign right, the United Nations Security Council passed a Resolution forbidding it regardless of ‘right’.
The DPRK are unlikely to back down without gaining major concessions in their inevitable nuclear talks and will continue to use the threat of the launch as a way to flip pressure back onto the nations pressuring them for disarmament.
This pressure, however, may be more problematic than the North foresaw; all members of the UN Security Council have individually shown negative interest in this ‘provocative’ move; even China, the North’s most powerful ally has reportedly shown its unease with the situation having now met with the North on two occasions within the last two days to discuss the situation.
What the young leader is indeed trying to achieve is debated as little real information leaks from the highly secretive state. What has been pointed out, however, is that fact that North Korea often uses smokescreen tactics to draw attention away from the nation’s real objectives.
“Some analysts say the North is following a pattern in which it responds to “hostile” criticism of its missile launches with an atomic weapons test.” (afp)
The last two missile tests have come on the heels of criticism and while the press concentrates so heavily on the nation it is much easier to pass off a test as direct retaliation. Retaliation will be met with much less criticism than a random provocative launch.
Whether it is indeed the case that the younger Kim Jong is planning yet another synthetic retaliatory move to mask the nation’s attempts to develop long range war heads is yet to be seen. What can be gleaned from the actions seen to this point could still be seen as cautious progress towards a less tense diplomatic situation.
What the situation indeed rests on is the new young leader’s sympathies within the party, the government and for his nation and secondly on his ability to fully impose his will and influence within all three.
If this is yet another move to shuffle towards the delusional idea that North Korea could be a regional power in the near future, the nation will see yet more famine, hardship and exclusion. If the young leader has at least seen the need for his people to eat, perhaps there could be hope.