Diplomacy of North Korea is in progress

By Wang Junsheng
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, September 19, 2015
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In addition to being the trusted envoy of Kim, Choe's father was one of an important DPRK leader who joined the war of resistance against Japanese aggression in northeastern China and developed good relationship with the first generation of later PRC leaders.

In spite of the artillery exchanges between the two sides last month, the DPRK and Republic of Korea (ROK) have taken some measures to resolve their disputes. The DPRK offered condolence to the ROK soldiers who were severely injured when stepping on the landmines along the border, for example. The diplomatic move has been recognized as an acknowledgement, though somewhat indirect, that the DPRK was responsible for planting the landmines, which had previously been denied.

Besides, in spite of an ultimatum delivered by the DPRK to the ROK, the former did propose talks several days before the imposed deadline and offered significant compromises in response to the ROK position. The diplomatic tactics were unimaginably flexible comparing to those of Kim's family predecessors as well as the situation previously prevailing in Kim's three-year tenure.

So, how should we now look at the Kim's leadership of DPRK? The most unreasonable view is to recognize DPRK as an abnormal country. In the view of standard political studies, a country's concrete measures are adopted based on both the internal and external environments. The DPRK problem has been exacerbated by the mistakes both of policy makers at home as well as the polarized ideologies around the Korea Peninsula where the DRPK and the United States should both take some responsibility.

Judging from the situation of Korean Peninsula since Kim assumed office, the diplomatic policies adopted by DPRK can be viewed as a learning process. In 2012, the DPRK launched two missiles; in the beginning of 2013, the DPRK conducted a nuclear test, which almost triggered a war crisis on the Korean Peninsula; in April 2013, the animosity between DPRK and ROK was somewhat relieved; in 2014, the DPRK started to extend its diplomatic contacts with the outside world.

This suggests some adjustment in thinking that is welcomed.

The situation in Korean Peninsula is so challenging that it has long been one of the most complicated international relations in the world. Therefore, patience is needed as problems will not be solved overnight.

Now the most pressing issue of the DPRK is to reduce its belligerence and become confident in building relations with the rest of the world. In doing so, DPRK needs more encouragement and less criticism and stresses.

Wang Junsheng is a research fellow with the National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The article was translated by Wu Jin. The original unabridged version was published in Chinese.

Opinion articles reflect views of their authors, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.


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