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Analyzing Kim Jong Il’s Remark

Posted June. 20, 2005 03:01,   


Will Nuclear Non-Proliferation on the Korean Peninsula be Kim Il Sung’s Testament?-

“The fact that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il mentioned the testament makes it clear that North Korea intends to abandon its nuclear program,” said a senior South Korean government official.

Some argue, however, that the two Koreas seem to interpret the remark differently, as the traditional meaning of “non-proliferation” in North Korea has been the withdrawal of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons and the U.S. nuclear umbrella from the peninsula,

“Nuclear non-proliferation mentioned by North Korea means making the peninsula a nuclear-free zone,” said Lee Dong-bok, a former special adviser of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) who participated in the inter-Korean meeting to declare non-proliferation on the Korean peninsula, “It’s goal is to shatter the U.S hostile policy that makes the North keep nuclear weapons.”

A Return Visit by Kim Jong Il?-

While saying that he will “keep his promise,” Kim did not mention a specific schedule for a return visit except that it would take place “at an appropriate time.” Many interpreted that the remark is not significant in that Kim has not shown any intention not to pay a return visit.

Regarding the issue of a return visit, Cheong Wa Dae is keeping silence. “North Korea feel burdens and is sensitive about a return visit because this time is Kim Jong Il’s turn to visit the South,” said a Cheong Wa Dae official. “The South Korean government will wait rather than propose a new plan.”

Six-Way Talks in July?-

The fact that Kim mentioned July is itself a clear indication of major progress. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon was optimistic about the resumption of the talks, saying, “Now the focus should be on making actual progress in the six-way talks rather than just resuming the talks.”

A government official, however, said, “The stance by North Korea remains unchanged in that it added a condition of talking to the U.S. To find out the real intentions of North Korea, it is necessary to see its attitude in the inter-ministerial talks which will be held starting June 21.”

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com taewon_ha@donga.com