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Why North Korea Delayed the Inter-Korean Summit

Posted August. 20, 2007 03:02,   


North Korea has proposed holding the second South-North summit early October instead of on August 28-29 as originally scheduled.

The North reportedly made the decision based on various strategic judgments.

October 8 will be the 10th anniversary of Kim Jung Il to be General Secretary of Workers’ Party of Korea.

Under the North’s army-first policy, the secretary position seems less important than his another title of chairman of the national defense commission. In fact, however, the Workers’ Party is undisputedly the most powerful organization of the secluded country. Furthermore, the number 10 has special meaning to North Koreans.

On October 10, two days after the above anniversary, is the 62nd founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

The North may have planned the timing of the rescheduled summit to occur right before these two events, and after restoring the recent flood damage, to show off his leadership.

The timing could also be a ploy to maximize the summit’s effect on the upcoming South Korean presidential election. Some say that the North might think that holding the summit in October instead of August could have more effect on the election.

North Korea has insisted on direct dialogue with the U.S., not South Korea, when it comes to security and nuclear issues. Pyongyang seems to want to avoid putting the denuclearization issues on the summit table by postponing the summit to a time when the six-party talks and foreign ministers’ meeting to verify the complete disablement of its nuclear facilities and program are finished.