President Moon Jae-in has proposed to North Korea to have an inter-Korean military dialogue and also a meeting for humanitarian Red Cross talks. Thus, Moon has made a serious peace and dialogue overtures to North Korean in an effort to solve the inter-Korean relations that have been marred during the nine years of shut-off policies of the discredited former President Park Geun-hye and her immediate predecessor.
On this development, the United States and Japan appear to be not overly happy thinking that “now is the time for bringing pressure on Chairman Kim Jong Un rather than offering him carrots.” In contrast, China and the European Union countries seem to be on the side of Moon.
The Presidential Office of Cheong WaDaehas made it clear that they have consulted in advance the United States before making the overturesand that they secured their nodding.
Generally, Chairman Kim of North Korea is considered a very intransigent person, difficult to persuade to agree to a peaceful settlement of inter-Korean problems.
Reportedly, the young leader literally killed the well-educated husband, Jang Seong-taek, of the elder sister of his father, on charges of rebellion, and recently poisoned to death Kim Jong-nam, his blood-shared half-brother from a different mother. Reports show that in the eyes of young Chairman Kim, Jang and Kim JN were a possible cause of a coup against him. There are unconfirmed reports that hundreds of other influential people in North Korea have been eliminated in repeated bloody purges.
Against this backdrop, one would easily conclude that Kim Jong Un is a very, very tough customer—for a negotiation party.
The former governments of Lee and Park, in this situation, completely shut off any channel of dialogue with North Korea, which has brought about the worst state of confrontation between the two sides.
The new government of President Moon, a follower of the peace-seeking Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, is obviously trying to succeed where his two predecessors had failed, and prove true the policies of Kim and Roh—as well as his own.
In the opinion of many people, Kim Jong Un is even a tougher customer than his two predecessors and this places Moon in a very difficult position where he would have a hard time to prove his policies right.
What Moon is trying to do appears to be two channels—dialogue and pressure.
This is considered an unprecedented avenue. If there were one, it would not have been the way Moon is trying to use.
In this effort, there is one thing the Moon government has to do. He should try to have full consultation with all the different parties, and listen to them carefully.
On this point, reports indicate that there is not much to worry as Moon is a man who listens to the different opinions of the people.