Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bruce Cumings on North Korea Provocations 5-29-09

The BBC wrote in regards the North and South Korean conflict:
Tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world increased steadily again from late 2008 onwards, especially after the new South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, ended his predecessor's "sunshine policy" of rapprochement with the North.

In April 2009 North Korea walked out of international talks aimed at ending its nuclear activities. The following month the country carried out its second ever underground nuclear test and announced that it no longer considered itself bound by the terms of the 1953 truce that ended the war between the two Koreas.

Tensions reached a new high in spring 2010, when the South accused North Korea of being responsible for sinking one of its warships, the Cheonan, and cut off all cross-border trade. Pyongyang denied the claims, and in turn severed all ties with Seoul.

After the US imposed tough sanctions in August, the North began to make overtures again. Kim Jong-il signalled a readiness to resume six-party nuclear talks during a visit to China, and indicated a willingness to accept Southern aid to cope with major flood damage.

However, a serious cross-border clash in November 2010, in which two South Korean marines were killed, threatened to set relations back once more.
This interview of Bruce Cumings from 2009 gives a little more insight and a lot more nuance. Nuance is altogether lacking in the current discussions taking place as the potential for war on the Korean peninsula increases.

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