North Korea Is Moving ForwardNorth Korea these days has been demonstrating rapid movement into international society. Considering the recent dramatic increase of activity, we can at least assume North has chosen an open-door policy, if not political reform. North Korea's lively efforts to establish diplomatic relationhips with other nations and to expand the range of its exchanges with the outside world will benfit us in the long run. This is because the North's efforts to join international society means it will have to follow international rules, which naturally leads to a lessened possibility of war. We believe North Korea's open policy, therfore, should lead to inter-Korean talks, the sooner the better.
North Korea has made ambassadorial-level diplomatic ties with Italy and is currently pushing ahead to establish friendly relations with Canada and Australia. Meanwhile, the North is also likely to establish diplomatic ties with the Phillippines as well. Full-swing talks with Japanese delegates will take place in Pyongyang on April 4. As for clinching a relationship with the United States, which the North pays the most attention, even though the high-level preliminary talks ended without much of a result, the talks are expected to resume soon. With newly clinched friendly ties with Russia and in depth discussions for a summit talk with China, North Korea certainly has a two-way strategy of advancing into the western world and strengthening ties with old allies.
Thus South Korea must focus on inducing North Korea to get on a track that may lead to reconciliation and a cooperative relationship between the two Koreas, which may then lead to the prepatory stages for reunification.
When it comes down to inter-Korea relationships, there should be neither groundless optimism nor any one-sided pessimissm. Internationally we should maintain mutual support of the four major nations surrounding the Korean peninsula. Domestically we should not be swayed by political scams and consistently stick to reconcilatory policy, but at the same time ensure national security. We also must urge North Korea to stop making excuses to avoid North-South talks and boldly reach to set up a proper dialogue.
by Kim Wang-ke