360° Coverage : North Korea Flexes Its Nukes After S.Korea Holds Out The Olive...

2 Updates
North Korea Flexes Its Nukes After S.Korea Holds Out The Olive Branch
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

North Korea Flexes Its Nukes After S.Korea Holds Out The Olive Branch

Mar 30 2014, 12:59pm CDT | by

One day South Korea’s President Park offers North Korea just about every kind of aid imaginable and next the North threatens “a new form of nuclear test for bolstering its nuclear deterrence.” The...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

24 weeks ago

North Korea Flexes Its Nukes After S.Korea Holds Out The Olive Branch

Mar 30 2014, 12:59pm CDT | by

One day South Korea’s President Park offers North Korea just about every kind of aid imaginable and next the North threatens “a new form of nuclear test for bolstering its nuclear deterrence.”

The sequence again brings the Korean peninsula to the non-crisis point – that is, the state at which the rhetoric portends the worst though nobody thinks anything really awful will happen.

In the setting of North-South confrontation, however, the rising rhetoric on top of ongoing U.S.-South Korean war games and North Korean missile tests is a combustible mixture with a short fuse. North Korea is furious at UN Security Council resolutions denouncing the latest missile tests and sanctions still in place for its three underground nuclear tests, most recently at the height of the last Korean peninsula crisis in February of last year.

And then there was last week’s debate in the UN Human Rights Council upbraiding the North for all the evidence of horrific abuses presented in a 200,000-word report by a Commission of Inquiry. North Korea has repeatedly denounced the report, its UN ambassador saying, “Mind your own business,” after the Council called for charging those guilty of crimes against humanity.

All the sturm and drang, however, does not necessarily mean the confrontation has to go from bad to worse. President Park, enunciating her “Dresden Doctrine” in a speech at Dresden, Germany, before the weekend evoked memories of the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of East and West Germany, saying “We too must tear down barriers” between the two Koreas, alluding, physically at least, to the demilitarized zone that’s divided the Korean peninsula since the end of the Korean War.

There was a distinct air of déjà vu as Park promised just about every form of aid for North Korea – humanitarian, nation-building, agriculture, pregnant mothers, infrastructure, telecommunications, you name it, it was on the list – but tied that potential bonanza to a familiar  condition.

All North Korea has to do is “forgo its nuclear program” and South Korea “will offer its active support” – bring the North into the international financial system via the good offices of a Northeast Asia Development Bank, collaborate on heady economic schemes, set up offices in each other’s capitals. If all that sounds unrealistic, at least it’s preferable to a second Korean War as the basis for bringing the two “halves” of the Korean peninsula into a viable relationship with each other.

Considering all the surprises of modern Korean history, no one should rule out just about any kind of news, good or bad.  Nonetheless, no one should forget that Park’s predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, soon after becoming president in 2008 promised a windfall of aid for the North if only they’d give up their nukes.  North Korea almost at once took to excoriating him as just about the worst president in South Korean history.

Who’s to say Park won’t be more successful than Lee? Nobody should bet on it – or against it – any more than anyone should take odds on the North Korean regime’s chances of collapsing or staying in power for decades to come.

Since the North’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, did away with the man once seen as his mentor if not de facto regent, Jang Song-thaek, and purged a lot of others, he and/or his advisers do appear somewhat interested in getting along with their southern neighbor.

The real test will come after the annual U.S.-South Korean exercises end in April when the South pleads for yet another round of visits between aging members of families divided by the Korean War. Since North Korea finally agreed to a round of visit soon after the war games began, people are hoping they may even agree on a regular schedule of such gatherings – maybe once a month.

In the web of conflicting trends and emotions, renewed talks between North Korea and Japan are also portentous.

They’re talking about Japanese who Japan is convinced remain in the North after having been kidnapped off Japanese beaches more than 40 year ago.  Many Japanese believe dozens remain in North Korea though the North has said the most it held was 13, eight of whom are said to have died. Among the latter, according to North Korea, is Megumi Yokota, whose daughter by a North Korean father was allowed to meet her Japanese grandparents recently in the Mongolia capital of Ulan Bator.

The North Korea-Japan talks  may have greater meaning – an attempt by North Korea to improve relations with Japan while relying on China for most of its fuel, much of its food and overall military support.

North Korea may also want to pry apart the trilateral relationship among the U.S., Japan and South Korea. President Obama got President Park and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to meet and talk on the sidelines of the recent nuclear summit in the Hague. Though they failed to come to terms on bitter historical disputes, more trilateral talks are likely in the next few weeks.

How North Korea responds is thoroughly unpredictable. After Park, Abe and Obama met in the Hague, the North popped off a volley of missiles. That may had more to do with U.S.-South Korean war games than the talks, however, if the latest rhetoric is any indication./>/>

The UN Security Council condemns “our self-defensive rocket tests,” says the North’s foreign ministry, “while turning a blind eye to the nuclear war practice by the U.S. that triggered our act.”

Nothing new there – not even when the statement says darkly, “we have prepared various steps that the enemy can hardly imagine.”  Meaningless big talk or a serious warning? No telling – though nothing North Korea-watchers haven’t heard before.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

2 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforce of ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

2 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH37 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

$1bn needed to fight Ebola virus: UN
United Nations, Sep 16 (IANS) Over one billion dollars are needed to fight the West Africa Ebola outbreak - a tenfold increase in the past month, the UN's Ebola coordinator has said.
 
 
Five children die of spoiled vaccines in Syria
Damascus, Sep 16 (IANS) At least five children died after taking contaminated measles vaccines in rebel-held areas in the country's northern province of Idlib, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday.
 
 
'XI visit will set tone of Modi's US trip'
Washington, Sep 16 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping's India visit will set the tone of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming trip to the US, according to Jagat Shah, secretary general of the China-India Trade and Investment Centre.
 
 
Kenya maintains flight ban to Ebola-hit West African nations
Nairobi, Sep 16 (IANS) The Kenyan government will not lift a travel ban to West African countries affected by an outbreak of Ebola virus disease until the risk reduces to a manageable level, officials said Tuesday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

$1bn needed to fight Ebola virus: UN
United Nations, Sep 16 (IANS) Over one billion dollars are needed to fight the West Africa Ebola outbreak - a tenfold increase in the past month, the UN's Ebola coordinator has said. David Nabarro made the...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Modi's speech to be beamed live at iconic Times Square
New York, Sep 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the Indian community at a grand public reception at Madison Square Garden Sep 28 will be beamed live on giant screens at New York's iconic Times Square...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Five children die of spoiled vaccines in Syria
Damascus, Sep 16 (IANS) At least five children died after taking contaminated measles vaccines in rebel-held areas in the country's northern province of Idlib, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Nepal all-party conference on constitution drafting cancelled
Kathmandu, Sep 16 (IANS) A scheduled all-party conference which was expected to provide an impetus to the fragile constitution drafting process of Nepal has been cancelled due to dispute among parties about its agenda...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
'XI visit will set tone of Modi's US trip'
Washington, Sep 16 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping's India visit will set the tone of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming trip to the US, according to Jagat Shah, secretary general of the China-India...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Bangladesh court to give verdict on Islamist leader's death rap appeal
Dhaka, Sep 16 (IANS) Bangladesh's apex court will Wednesday deliver the final judgment on an appeal against the verdict of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 sentencing an Islamist party leader to death for war...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Iraq parliament fails to endorse key ministerial nominees
Baghdad, Sep 16 (IANS) Iraqi lawmakers Tuesday failed to approve new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's nominees for defence, interior and tourism ministers, media reported. Jaber al-Jaberi, a Sunni nominee for defence...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Google wants to teach programming to millions of American girls
San Francisco, Sep 16 (IANS/EFE) Internet giant Google is seeking to teach computer programming to millions of girls in the US under its Made With Code initiative, which has an eye on developing women programmers in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Over 260,000 internally displaced in Ukraine: UN agency
Geneva, Sep 16 (IANS) Over 260,000 people in Ukraine are internally displaced, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Tuesday. According to its latest report, OCHA said an estimated 5.1...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Riyadh calls for 10-year fight to wipe out terror
Riyadh, Sep 16 (IANS) Saudi Arabia wants that the war on the so-called Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist organisations should continue for 10 years, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal has said. Addressing...
Read more on Politics Balla