November 29, 2023

North Korea taking uneven approach toward U.S., South Korea?

What the shooting of a border-swimmer suggests about inter-Korean relations

It was perhaps no more than an unfortunate coincidence that on the day that the Kaesong Industrial Zone reopened for business, South Korean guards on the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean Peninsula shot and killed a man who appeared to be trying to swim across the Imjin River from south to north.

The shooting did have any effect on the events at Kaesong, where the Southern trucks rolled in and the Southern managers began to resume where they left off in the spring. Alas, there will be fewer Choco Pies available to North Korean workers. They were apparently being sold in the markets rather than consumed – a positive sign in some ways since this is the birth of capitalism – but there were, apparently, concerns about allegations of allowing diversions.