North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced an intention to restore an inter-Korean communication line in early October during his administrative policy speech at the Supreme People's Assembly. At the same time, Kim said South Korea is continuing impure words and actions provoking the North, adding that whether the inter-Korean relations can be restored or worsen depends on South Korea’s attitude. He also said that the U.S.’s military threats and hostile policies toward North Korea have not changed since the launch of the new administration under Joe Biden and rather have become more sly.
Kim’s message to South Korea, which came out two days after the North’s provocation by firing a hypersonic missile, includes both criticism and appeasement. While scolding the South’s attitude, the North Korean leader also expressed an intention to restore a communication line, as if it is some sort of charity. North Korea recovered an inter-Korean communication line as a result of the exchanges of letters between the leaders of the two Koreas at the end of July but disconnected it just after two weeks. Kim Yo Jong mentioned a potential summit meeting between the two Koreas a few days ago, which was followed by a missile provocation. It is North Korea’s double-faced tactics to change between appeasement and threats.
North Korea seems to think that such conventional tactics are working. In fact, North Korea launched a cruise missile, ballistic missile, and hypersonic missile consecutively, putting pressure to revoke the ‘double standard,’ and made South Korea unable to define them as ‘provocations.’ In the recent speech, Kim said the North does not have any reason or intention to provoke or harm South Korea so the South should let go of its delusion and a victim mentality as if he was talking to a child. The North is trying to keep the South silent so that the South won’t raise issues.
At the same time, it is true that Kim’s statement sounds desperate based on the notion that the North cannot hold out much longer in such an isolated state. While the country is trying to rehabilitate itself, internal pressure is growing due to economic difficulties. That is why the North is trying to tame South Korea and drive a wedge between the South and the U.S. before either negotiating or competing with the U.S. It also does not hide an intention to plan something by saying that there is a new cold war structure between the U.S. and China. Unfortunately, the South Korean government seems to be dragged into it as politicians are trying to do anything to improve inter-Korean relations until the end of the current president’s term in office. North Korea’s actions are unfolding with full awareness of such a desperate sense of urgency in the South.