Kim a mortal menace or playing mind games? – Asia Times

Kim a mortal menace or playing mind games? - Asia Times

This is component one in a two- part series on the implications of North Korea’s new formal change of stance toward South Korea, and is adapted from the author ‘s&nbsp, new chapter&nbsp, in&nbsp, Analytical Connections: A Triannual E- journal of Bilateral Relations in the Indo- Pacific.

Kim Jong Un’s radical new policy toward South Korea was presented to the Supreme People’s Assembly ( SPA ) in January. It sounded really as dirty as when he first expounded it in December, but no more clear.

Our preliminary opinion is that this is more wood than bit, despite the prospect of a guaranteed constitutional amendment requiring more detail. Although punishment and vigilance are still important, this does not appear to be a peninsula in the middle of a war.

Kim’s new approach on South Korea

On the surface, Kim Jong Un’s fresh position toward South Korea, which he announced at the end of 2023 and afterwards admitted later in the middle of January, upends Pyongyang’s whole history, which includes rejecting his father and father’s legacy.

Kim turned to the new year after reviewing how gathering and state laws were put into effect in the previous one. Earlier Kim had laid out the common DPRK view.

He described the “dangerous security environment” in the Korean Peninsula that was “on the verge of a nuclear war” and claimed that” the US and its vassal forces have still carried out vicious anti-DPRK confrontational moves” and are ] openly discussing the “end of regime” in the DPRK.

Beyond these generalizations, extensive research into distinct US and empire advances demonstrated how Pyongyang pays close attention to the actions of its allies. Kim’s summary:” The term’ war’ is now approaching us as a practical entity, not as an intangible concept”.

Obviously, Kim also blasted” the pro- DPRK fight behavior” in which” liar” ROK President Yoon Suk Yeol just was getting possibly more “offensive”. This was why, in his watch, the September 19 North- North Defense Contract “was&nbsp, scrapped“.

A crucial policy change, perhaps?

So far, therefore template.

Then Kim moved on to “gigantic political changes in ] the] international geo-political condition… and the Korean peninsula’s outside atmosphere.” The need to “reformulate the positions on the north-south relations and reconciliation policy and make a significant policy change in the fight against the enemy” was first mentioned below.

Beyond the island, Kim confirmed in theory what had already become apparent in practice. ” The field of external affairs ]aka diplomacy ] should” concentrat]e ] the main efforts on the development of relations with the ruling parties of socialist countries.”

That also is a big change, though he did not flip it as such. Gone are the days of Pyongyang swaying nimbly between power: Kim Il Sung balancing between Moscow and Beijing, not fully in control of both, or Kim Jong Il stealing control of China and South Korea.

What of the coast? Kim demanded” a basic reversal in… work toward the south,” citing a nuanced analysis of the tense history of the north-south relations, which have consistently resulted in only mistrust and confrontation. ” This” abnormal condition is not a strange phenomenon, “and, of training, it is all the South’s problem.

For 50 times the North has pursued” most really, reasonable and fair “policies on national reconciliation. By contrast, also though” the puppet regime has changed more than]10] times so much,” their regular theme is” the collapse of the DPRK’s regime “and” unification by absorption.”

Keep it that, friend. What about Moon Jae-in or Kim Dae-jung?

Whether or not they advocated “democracy” or carried out a disguised as” conservatism,” the puppet forces ‘ sinister ambition to destroy our social system and regime has remained unchanged even a little. “

Therefore, the party has come to the conclusion that “reunification can never be achieved with the ROK authorities who defined the “unification by absorption” and “unification under democratic democracy” as their condition policies, which are in stark contrast to our range of regional reunification based on one nation and one state with two systems.

But all this is a travesty. True, some – perhaps most – conservative ROK leaders thought in the way Kim describes. Not so the three liberals –” DJ” ( 1998- 2003 ), Roh Moo- hyun ( 2003- 08 ), and Roh’s protégé Moon ( 2017- 22 ). Their vision was quite different and much closer to Pyongyang’s own.

Kim then adduces a further example, while also shifting his ground:

Even at this point, the South Korean puppets are unwaveringly claiming that the DPRK and its people are ROK territory and that the country’s population needs to be reclaimed, and that” the territory of the ROK includes the Korean peninsula and its attached islands” is shamelessly stated in the ROK constitution.

True, South Korea’s constitution does make that claim ( in Article 3 ), whereas the North’s contains no such territorial definition. However, Kim is spewing this. From the beginning, neither Korean state has recognized the other.

Hemiplegic malformation

Moving swiftly on, Kim draws drastic conclusions ( numbers added for convenience ):

  1. The clan who publicly described us as the “principal enemy” and who seeks only the chance of” collapse of power” and “unification by absorption” in collusion with foreign forces as the partner of reconciliation and reunification should no longer be considered a mistake.
  2. ” It is inappropriate to discuss the subject of reunification with the strange clan who is no more than a colonial stooge of the US, just because of the rhetorical word the fellow countrymen use,” the DPRK said.
  3. South Korea is currently nothing more than a hemiplegic malformation and colonial subordinate state with a corrupt political system, a corrupt whole, and a [defense ] and security that are inseparably dependent on the US.
  4. The north-south relations are now entirely fixed to the relations between two hostile states and the ones between two belligerent states, not the more consanguineous or homogeneous ones.

Who or what exactly does Kim think” South Korea” is? He transitions from the government to that peculiar” clan,” which raises a number of questions.

If the” clan” is unrepresentative – though freely elected, unlike north of the DMZ– then what of the Southern&nbsp, people? The implication is that Pyongyang has stopped looking and has not found any honorable interlocutors.

Another interpretation of South Korea’s identity is provided in Paragraph 3, which is neither attractive nor even near real. The abhorrent distasteful disablist imagery Kim uses here lends cred to a possible political eugenics. Such a malformed, tainted, dependent entity is clearly unfit to be a dialogue partner.

In what sense, if any, is Korea still one? Not at all, according to Kim. He reckons that “fellow countrymen” is merely a “rhetorical word”.

Paragraph 4 begs questions. Is it true that inter- Korean ties ( at the level of states ) are “fixed” into hostility? And regardless, what has that to do with either consanguinity or homogeneity?

Kim rounds off this farrago with two conclusions: bureaucratic, and then ( more ominously ) military. First, various organizations – not least,” the United Front Department of the Party Central Committee” – need “readjusting and reforming” to “fundamentally change the principle and orientation of the struggle”.

Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui convened a meeting” with officials concerned” on the first day of 2024 to begin implementing the organizational changes.

Evidently, MOFA, which is not always a high-status ministry in Pyongyang, will gain power and grow its bailiwick as the previously separate bodies ( mostly under the WPK), which had previously handled South Korea, are abruptly axed.

And finally a final growl:

Kim ] stated in a solemn manner that “if the US and the South Korean puppets stubbornly attempt a military confrontation with the DPRK, the latter’s nuclear deterrent will go over to a grave action without hesitation,” and that” the important tasks must be set aside in the fields in charge of the affairs with enemies and foreign countries to make preparations in a foresighted way to keep up with the powerful military operations of the Korean People’s Army to subjugate the entire south on the grounds that

Many questions arise. So the “territory” of the South can be subjugated– but only if the foe makes the first move? What about the Southern people: are they to be” subjugated” too?

And why is Kim, who ended his father’s military- first strategy ( Songun ) by restoring party control over the KPA, now in effect telling MOFA to spruce up and keep pace with the soldiers?

Aidan Foster- Carter ( [email protected] ) &nbsp, is an honorary senior&nbsp, research fellow in sociology and modern Korea at Leeds.