Thursday, March 28, 2013

S. Korea to delink humanitarian aid from N. Korea's denuclearization actions

Some will criticize this and there will be comparisons to the Sunshine Policy.  However, I think an important difference is that President Park's policies will rest on the foundation of the strength of the ROK/US Military Alliance.

But this statement is somewhat troubling:
  "We do look at this as part of a pattern, and we respond in the way that we always have," White House press secretary Jay Carney said at a press briefing.
One of the reasons that the north is acting the way it is is because of the way the ROK/US Alliance has always responded.  The regime thinks the ROK/US  Alliance will do little to nothing in response to a provocation and that eventually the US will want to return to negotiations to restore stability in the region.  But the north would be wrong at least in the case of the ROK – the ROK military will respond decisively  to the next "kinetic" provocation that results in an attack on the ROK and I do not think that the US will provide political and economic concessions to the regime in return for a return to negotiations.  The north is miscalculating regarding the likely ROK/US response and that of course is potentially very dangerous.

S. Korea to delink humanitarian aid from N. Korea's denuclearization actions
2013-03-27 10:00
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   South Korea will delink humanitarian assistance to North Korea from overall diplomatic developments with Pyongyang and its denuclearization actions, in the early stages of a "trust-building" process with the North, ministry officials said Wednesday.

   Unveiling detailed diplomatic goals for the new engagement policy with North Korea proposed by President Park Geun-hye, a high-ranking ministry official also brushed aside concerns about to what extent the U.S. will support the initiative by Park to expand inter-Korean relations, saying Washington "fully understands" the new approach by Seoul.

   Park has pledged to pursue the "trust-building" policy with North Korea that calls for more engagement with the North, while, at the same time, not tolerating Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

   In an annual policy briefing to Park on Wednesday, the foreign ministry summarized Park's initiative as a three-step approach in which South Korea will first provide humanitarian aid to North Korea while calling for the North to keep the agreements made with the South.

   If the first-stage measure is successful in building confidence between the two Koreas, South Korea will expand inter-Korean economic cooperation without linking it to the North's nuclearization actions, the high-ranking ministry official said.

   The third-stage step is for large-scale government assistance, but it will be possible only if North Korea demonstrates its sincerity for denuclearization through actions, the official said.

   "From the start, the Korean Peninsula trust-building process does not link to North Korea's denuclearization," the official said on the condition of anonymity.

   "If confidence is built throughout the first two stages, the third stage of large-scale assistance will be linked to progress in the North's denuclearization," the official said.

   So far, the U.S. has maintained its stance that it won't return to nuclear talks with North Korea unless the North takes "irreversible steps" to denuclearize.

   However, numerous analysts have raised doubts over Washington's so-called "strategic patience" approach toward North Korea, a policy of shunning direct talks with the North until it agrees to abide by past nuclear commitments.

   Despite diplomatic efforts and international sanctions, North Korea has continued to develop its missile and nuclear programs.
(Continued at the link below)

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