North Korea and South Korea tensions ratchet up: Moon Jae-in is in a spin
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
North Korea warned South Korea to reign in defectors who were spreading anti-Pyongyang propaganda. Hence, the liaison office designed for communicating between both Korea’s was blown up by North Korea in the environs of Kaesong.
Internationally, Western democracies support South Korea but hopes were emerging that a thaw might emerge. However, despite recent positive signs between America and North Korea, the political elites in Pyongyang became frustrated that harsh sanctions remained. Therefore, it appears that North Korea is once more turning inward again.
Ironically, it is also a sign that North Korea must be emboldened internally in the economic realm. Signs are that the economy is picking up and the ruling elites seem confident. For example, the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, is providing a political platform for his sister Kim Yo-jong.
Thus Kim Jong-un, Kim Yo-jong, the military, and trusted members of the ruling elites are sharing power concentration and strengthening the political system. Hence, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea is troubled by events because he had hoped to soothe relations with North Korea.
At the same time, relations between Japan and South Korea are negative because of Moon’s obsession with history. Meanwhile, the Russian Federation is an honest broker between North Korea and South Korea. However, China tilts more toward North Korea despite desiring good relations with South Korea.
Of course, political elites in Beijing and Moscow aren’t happy about America’s military intrigues in South Korea. This notably applies to the U.S. anti-missile system (THAAD) in South Korea that angered China and the Russian Federation. Therefore, South Korea is in a weakened position in Northeast Asia.
Reuters reports, “Russia said on Tuesday it was concerned about the situation on the Korean peninsula and called for restraint from all sides, but so far had no plans for high-level diplomatic contacts to ease the tensions.”
The leader of South Korea created tensions with Japan and his reaching out to North Korea is now looking extremely fragile. If South Korea had done more to ease sanctions then both nations could have fostered closer relations. Yet this didn’t emerge thus the anti-North Korean propaganda angle became the last straw.
Overall, the confusing policy of Moon towards North Korea and Japan – and the THAAD missile system – are all building up negatively.
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