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Pyongyang`s `exit strategy`

Posted April. 13, 2013 03:27,   


North Korea has done enough. Regardless of whether Pyongyang launches its Musudan ballistic missile or not, most people around the world now know that the North is a dangerous country that could attack South Korea, the United States or Japan. Marking the first anniversary of young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un`s assumption of power, Rodong Sinmun, the North Korean ruling party`s paper, praised his leadership a "pleasant victory," presenting the North`s satellite launch and the third nuclear test as some of his greatest achievements. It was as good as a declaration that as long as the young leader is in power, the North will never give up its long-range missiles, which the outsider world defines as intercontinental ballistic missiles, and nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang`s de facto closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex went beyond the expectations by civilized society. Despite North Korea`s unique loyalty to its late leaders, whom the country calls "supreme dignity," how could it throw away the jobs of 53,000 people and the livelihood of more than 200,000 of their families? We now know that how vain it is to apply common sense to North Korea`s acts.

Even though former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il made provocations, he also returned to dialogue when the situation was not in his favor. However, Kim Jong Un blindly dashed forward over the last one year. Perhaps, he decided to become a different leader from his father. There is one thing the North missed. North Korea was not the only one that changed. All the opponents he faces have also changed, including South Korea and China with their new leaders. China has been significantly offended by Kim Jong Un`s rudeness of casting a damper on the beginning of new Chinese President Xi Jinping`s 10-year rule. Did North Korea think about why Xi, who visited North Korea as his first destination after becoming China`s vice president five years ago, is avoiding contact with the young North Korean leader? Even China`s state-run media express displeasure over North Korea`s provocations. Chinese people are no longer friendly to the North.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said she was willing to talks with the North. However, it is a miscalculation to take the offer as a retreat. President Park added that North Korea should "pay for its wrong acts" and stressed that stressed ending "vicious cycle" of repeating its past practices after its abnormal acts are accepted. The South Korean president consistently calls for not tolerating the North`s provocations. If she bows to or make concessions under North Korea`s threats, the South Korean people would not forgive her.

If North Korea finally launches ballistic missile, it would end up facing stronger sanctions by the United Nations Security Council. Despite its development of nuclear weapons and missiles, pressures from the outside will become stronger. How long the impoverished North Koreans endure such a situation? How much longer will North Korean workers at the Kaesong Industrial Complex who lived on dollars paid by South Korean companies maintain their loyalty to the "supreme dignity" despite their painful unemployment?

When the farming season begins in May, the North has to send its troops to fields for farming work. When the South Korea-U.S. Foal Eagle joint military exercise is over at the end of this month, the North has no choice but to back down from its belligerence.

Even under such a circumstance, it is likely that the North will propagandize that its military`s power and its young leader`s "genius strategy" have prevented the invasion by the U.S. imperialists. What good would it do? The longer the North plays its card of provocation, the less resources it would have left and the longer the bills to be charged by the South and the U.S. It is North Korea that is in desperate need of an exit strategy. One who has tied a knot must untie it.