Faced with Washington’s hard line on the communist state, the Korean leader seems to have altered his approach to Pyongyang, analysts say
SEOUL—South Korean President Kim Dae-jung seems to have departed
flexible reciprocity strategies and has turned more
realistic in dealing with the North in the face of the firmer US
stance on Pyongyang, analysts said.
They said Mr Kim’s withdrawal of a plan to promote an inter-Korean peace declaration during a proposed visit by the North’s Kim Jong Il to Seoul this year came as a result of the tougher US position.
After talks with US President George W. Bush in Washington last week, President Kim said he would reactivate a non-aggression pact included in the 1992 Basic Agreement between the two Koreas, rather than push for the peace declaration.
One analyst said Mr Kim may have felt a burden in unilaterally
promoting the peace agreement when South Korea and the US are showing
perception gap with regard to the North.
After the talks with Mr Bush, Mr Kim had said the communist North was
wondrous change and the US should not miss a
chance to end the 50-year Cold War on the peninsula.
But Mr Bush said he was sceptical of the North’s leader and would not immediately resume talks on scrapping its missile development programme.
Mr Kim’s proposal to revive the now dormant 1992 Inter-Korean
Basic Agreement is an apparent departure from his
reciprocity aimed at inducing the North to cut its military
threats after providing economic and diplomatic incentives to
Unlike Seoul’s flexible policy, the US has vowed to deal with the North strictly. It has said it would take corresponding action only when the North agrees to verification of its weapons of mass destruction, including missiles and conventional weapons.
Professor Kim Sung Han of the Institute of Foreign Affairs and
National Security, affiliated to the South’s Foreign Ministry,
Kim’s proposal is a message hoping that the Bush
administration, which is trying to deal with the North with
micro reciprocity, will approach the North more