Posted May. 27, 2017 07:08,
Updated May. 27, 2017 07:24
The Ministry of Unification has approved a request by the humanitarian organization Korean Sharing Movement to contact with North Korean residents. This will be the first private level meet-up since Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test in January last year. Despite of Kim Jong Un’s two ballistic missile launches on May 14 and 21 after the inception of the new South Korean government, President Moon Jae-in has decided to resume humanitarian aids to North Korea, halted by the previous government, within the scope of framework to sanction North Korea designed by the international community.
The Korean Sharing Movement claims to discuss joint program to prevent malaria with North Korea, but among co-chairs of the organization are politicians including Won Hye-young of the Minjoo Party and Chun Jung-bae of the People’s Party who have supported “bold dialogue” to resolve nuclear issues. If they visit North Korea, they may be welcomed by government officials, seeking to resume dialogue with the Moon’s administration. During the Unification Ministry’s program briefing to the president’s advisory committee on Friday, the ministry was demanded to play more active roles in leading new relations between two Koreas.
The strained relations between South Korea and North Korea are largely attributable to a series of provocations by North Korea such as the sinking of Cheonan incident and missile strike on Yeonpyeong Island but hostile policies to North Korea by former Presidents Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye. President Moon has proposed that his new vision of economic cooperation between two Koreas dubbed the “new economic map of the Korean Peninsula” will help untangle the relationship between two Koreas and solve unemployment. In fact, when it comes to North Korea, it does not go along with what South Korea intended for.
There is no need to connect humanitarian assistance to North Korean residents to a breakthrough of relations between two Koreas. While the international community is heightening the level of its pressure to Kim Jong Un in order to make him abandon nuclear and missile programs, South Korea’s unconditional dialogue with North Korea will not always be justified. It has been reported that U.S. President Donald Trump finalized his policy approaches to North Korea that the Trump administration will impose all forms of sanctions and pressure to North Korea but ultimately resolve nuclear issues through dialogue. The Moon’s administration should proceed with its efforts to resume dialogue with North Korea through careful review of timing, requirement and method. If not, it will make North Korea misunderstand that it has been whitewashed and, worse, the international community may misinterpret South Korea’s intentions. In this context, President Moon should refrain from too aggressive and expansive ambitions from the beginning.