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[Focus] N. Korea sets up ties with EU countries one by one

[Focus] N. Korea sets up ties with EU countries one by one

Posted January. 26, 2001 11:20,   


North Korea¡¯s omni directional diplomacy is gaining an accelerated momentum. The reclusive country that has made efforts to get out of its United States-oriented diplomacy since 1999 is spurring on normalizing relations with other Western countries.

In particular, North Korea, establishing diplomatic ties with the European Union member countries one after another, has shown a practical attitude that could never be expected from it in the past.

Experts say that the North is pushing an omni directional diplomacy due to its necessity to reform and open to the world, and to prepare for the expected hard-line policies of the new U.S. administration of President George W. Bush.

Practicality rather than self-respect:

The Netherlands and Belgium established diplomatic ties with North Korea recently on condition that their incumbent ambassadors to South Korea would assume the ambassadorial post in North Korea at the same time.

North Korea¡¯s consent to the condition is regarded as very exceptional in that it is like recognizing internationally that North Korea is a smaller country than South Korea.

North Korea plans to set up diplomatic links with Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Greece during the first half of this year, according to government sources. If so, 13 of the 15 EU countries, except France and Ireland, will have diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Tasks of North Korean diplomacy:

However, it remains a question whether such a practical diplomacy toward the EU can be connected to corresponding material profits. Diplomatic circles in Seoul point out that the Western countries¡¯ successive establishment of diplomatic ties with North Korea might be a sort of diplomatic fashion statement designed to secure influence over each other amid the progress in inter-Korean relation, which is an international issue.

Therefore, some experts speculate that the outcome of the North¡¯s omni directional diplomacy could not but be extremely limited, unless it resolves the questions of weapons of mass destruction and human rights, and promotes substantial reform and openness so that overseas capital can make inroads into it.