Are Korea’s “Bending” away from Bluster?January 4, 2011 - 2:38 PM | by: Greg Palkot
LONDON After a 2010 that saw the Korean peninsula edge towards the brink of nuclear Armageddon, 2011 is starting on, at least what sounds, like a far more peaceful note.
In its New Year’s message, North Korea’s state media mouthpiece talked about “dialogue” and “cooperation” with the South.
On Monday South Korean President Lee said his country might be open to talks with Pyongyang.
And today, upon his arrival in Seoul, US special envoy Stephen Bosworth called for “serious negotiations,” between all parties.
All of this follows North Korea’s apparent deadly attack on the South Korean frigate Cheonan last March, it’s brazen show of military muscle and nuclear know-how in the Fall, and then the North’s artillery assault on civilians on the South’s Yeonpyeong Island.
“Literally with a ‘shot across the bow,’” London-based Korea analyst Kerry Brown told Fox News, “North Korea appears to have achieved what they wanted.”
What Pyongyang apparently wants is recognition of the Kim Jong-Il regime and the apparent hand-off to heir apparent Kim Jong-Un, aid and funds to prop up a desperate state, and a resumption of 6-party talks between the North, South, the US and allies on both sides.
It appears to be getting at least the talks…maybe more.
To some, all this follows a well-trodden…and dangerous…. path the North has taken before.
“There’s always a waxing and waning,” UK’s Royal United Services Institute’s John Hemmings told Fox, “hopefully it doesn’t become destructive.”
After meeting Wednesday with South Korea’s Foreign Minister, Ambassador Bosworth goes on to Beijing and Tokyo. There is the sense among experts that President Obama, after resisting negotiations, is ready to give in to talks just as past Presidents have done.
Some have looked to the summit later this month in Washington between President Obama and Chinese President Hu as a possible time for the US to get back into jaw-jaw mode.
Meanwhile the sparring between North and South in the New Year has been limited to the small screen.
South Korea’s latest war games launching Friday aimed at stopping infiltration from the North will be played out….in simulation…on computer screens.
And the North is unleashing thousands of its followers this week…in videos of mass rallies being posted for the first time via its official news agency on YouTube and elsewhere.
The biggest small screen development came this weekend on North Korean state TV. For the first time, it ran a western movie, “Bend it Like Beckham.” About 12 minutes was reportedly cut out of the British original, perhaps the bits about homosexuality, interracial dating and religion”
Its had some experts wondering if…this time…. Pyongyang could possibly be “bending” away from “bluster.” And other experts just shaking their heads and saying…
…They’ve seen this “movie” before!