November 29, 2023

Thoughts on Kumgang and Kaesong

"It's the Koreans who have to deal with their future...we should be encouraging them to do so"

Let me put my cards on the table at the start. As far as the two Koreas are concerned, I am for engagement. It was not always so.

When I started dealing seriously with Korean issues while in Seoul in the early 1980s, I tended to share the generally prevalent mode among foreigners that any South Korean involvement with the North was unlikely to produce positive results and indeed, might even undermine the political system in the South. But four years of watching containment policies and hostility on both sides that got nowhere led me to change my views.