South Korean President Park Geun-hye attributed North Korea’s about-face to the strong military stance Seoul had taken in the face of Pyongyang’s daily threats in April and May. Speaking at a lunch with military leaders on Friday, President Park said: "Yesterday, North Korea proposed inter-Korean government-to-government talks that it has opposed so far. This was possible because of all the hard work of our troops and commanders who have maintained a firm security posture."
She also vowed to continue to push for her "Korean Peninsula trust process,” but said her “trustpolitik” policy was only possible with a strong military position to back it up.
"If national security is shaken, neither dialogue nor peace can stand, just like we cannot build buildings on a shaking foundation. Only when we have perfect military readiness and deterrence against North Korea can we make the North not dare think of provocations, and induce a genuine change."
Ultimately, Kim had little choice. He perpetuated a crisis without an apparent endgame in mind. Consequently, he gained nothing from it, nor would he have by holding out longer. Even Pyongyang knows when to cut its losses… eventually.