Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Wednesday, June 15, 2011     GET REAL

North Korea's new bellicosity toward South seen as warning to Beijing

By Lee Jong-Heon, special from

SEOUL — North Korea's recent burst of military threats against South Korea was aimed at pressing China to address Pyongyang's discontent about Kim Jong-Il's "fruitless" visit to China, government analysts here said.


Shortly after Kim returned home apparently empty-handed late last month, North Korea launched a new round of military threats against the South, raising tensions which could hamper China's project to develop its northeastern region bordering the Korean peninsula.

The North's all-powerful National Defense Commission chaired by Kim Jong-Il on May 30 issued a strongly worded communique which said the North would not "deal with" the South any longer and threatened to strike if its campaign of "psychological warfare" continued. The statement was the North's first since Kim's China visit ended on May 27.

Also In This Edition

The North's People's Army joined the saber-rattling campaign, vowing to launch "retaliatory military actions" against South Korea because its reserve forces used photos of North Korean leaders for target practice.

The North has also mobilized media organizations, social organizations, factories, farms and schools for the campaigns, saying all North Koreans are ready to destroy the South.

Pyongyang also disclosed a secret meeting with the South in Beijing last month in which it claimed the South "begged" for inter-Korean summit talks and "disgraced" North Koreans by offering money.

The charge embarrassed President Lee Myung-Bak who had cautiously sought to break the long impasse in inter-Korean ties.

The surprising disclosure has effectively closed the window of opportunity for inter-Korean summit and governmental dialogue before conservative Lee leaves office in early 2013.

Government sources said the saber-rattling targeted China that does not want to see tensions on the Korean peninsula to rise further.

"By doing this, the North wants to send a message to China that Pyongyang could drive the Korean peninsula into security crisis unless Beijing addresses the North's discontent about Kim Jong-Il's visit to China," a source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

"The North has a history of worsening ties with the South as leverage in dealing with China and the United States," he said.

Cho Min, a researcher at the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, said the North has been employing a "war-business" strategy, forging war-like mood on the Korean peninsula in a bid to win diplomatic and economic concessions.

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.