The surprising disclosure of a meeting thought to have been orchestrated by the RBG has effectively closed the window of opportunity for an inter-Korean summit and governmental dialogue before conservative President Lee Myung-Bak leaves office in early 2013.
The RGB is headed by Kim Yong-Chol, one of the closest confidants of Kim Jong-Il, and is considered as the most hawkish leader in the powerful military. Kim Yong-Chol and the RGB were put last August on the U.S. list of sanctions for their illicit activities such as sale of arms, narcotics, and tobacco.
Early this month, the North disclosed secret meetings in Beijing with the South, claiming Seoul “begged” for inter-Korean summit talks and “disgraced” North Koreans by offering “envelopes of cash” in return for agreeing to a summit.
After Seoul denied offering cash, saying the meeting was aimed at winning the North’s apology for last year’s two deadly attacks, the North threatened to reveal audio-taped records of secret talks, which could greatly embarrass Lee if they really exist.
“The RBG seems to have led a North Korean mission that held last month’s secret meeting with the South,” the source said. In the past, the CPRF or the APPC represented the North’s mission to such meetings, he said.
In past years, the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRF) under the Workers’ Party played the leading role in dealing with South Korea, supported by the quasi-government organ of the Asia Pacific Peace Committee (APPC).
Recently, however, the two offices have been sidelined as the RGB has a greater voice in the North’s handing with the South, the source said.
“The RGB seems to be masterminding the country’s recent round of saber-rattling campaign against the South,” he said.