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A Tactful Peace For The Korean Peninsula

South Korean analysts close to national government agencies are calling on Seoul to take advantage of possible North Korean problems caused by a hypothetical reshuffle in high places and to facilitate Korean reunification in line with South Korean government terms.
by Alexander Vorontsov
Moscow (UPI) Nov 24, 2008
North Korea has hastened to state its readiness to mend relations with the United States, if the latter reciprocated. U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has also voiced his intention to negotiate with the North Korean leader after he is inaugurated.

Consequently, there is no reason to worry about possible destabilization on the Korean Peninsula, rising tensions and a hypothetical regional armed conflict.

In this connection, all the concerned parties must display tact and restraint when commenting on Kim Jong Il's health and when discussing future relations with new North Korean leadership.

Any negative scenarios would be caused by external, rather than North Korean, developments. For instance, relations between South Korea and North Korea could continue to get worse, because the administration of current South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has revised the heritage of his two predecessors and the entire North Korean policy.

Any manifestations of hysteria in connection with possible North Korean changes and the drafting of hostile contingency plans on this basis can seriously complicate relations with Pyongyang from the very outset and force it to implement tougher domestic and foreign policy measures.

The United States and South Korea are now actively discussing various military-political scenarios under the Concept of Operations Plan -- Conplan 5029 -- for dealing with the possible collapse of the North Korean regime.

North Korea is becoming more concerned and distrustful in the context of U.S.-South Korean attempts to convert this document into the U.S. armed forces' Operations Plan -- Oplan -- 5029.

South Korean analysts close to national government agencies are calling on Seoul to take advantage of possible North Korean problems caused by a hypothetical reshuffle in high places and to facilitate Korean reunification in line with South Korean government terms.

In the last few months South Korean non-governmental organizations have been using balloons to drop propaganda leaflets over North Korea beyond the demilitarized zone. In fact, such actions are also aimed at changing the Pyongyang regime.

After South Korea ignored repeated North Korean warnings, Pyongyang decided to close the land border starting Dec. 10, 2008. This will inevitably impair the steadily dwindling inter-Korean cooperation between North and South.

Some analysts are saying with reason that the South Korean government, which is stating its desire to salvage and expand bilateral cooperation, nonetheless has diametrically opposite plans.

Such actions could induce North Korea to implement tough defensive measures and would spell negative prospects for reformist plans being implemented since 2002.

However, North Korea would continue to gradually modernize its socioeconomic system if other countries display a tranquil and friendly attitude.

(Alexander Vorontsov heads the Korea and Mongolia department at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Oriental Studies. This article is reprinted by permission of RIA Novosti. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.)

(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

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US expects NKorea to formally agree to sampling in Beijing
Washington (AFP) Nov 24, 2008
The United States said Monday it expects North Korea to formally agree to let inspectors take samples from weapons-grade nuclear sites during a high-level international meeting next month in Beijing.

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