Inter-Korean engagement is dead – or is it? | NK News
June 14, 2024

Inter-Korean engagement is dead – or is it?

Talk of Southern takeover a fantasy, re-establishing of connections likely to resurface

Having a lump surgically removed from your head turns your mind to things other than the Korean Peninsula, but the closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex has helped me refocus. Lots of things are puzzling about this development.

Why now? Kaesong has been operating since 2002 and calls within the ROK and from some other quarters for its closure have been strident. Yet it survived the DPRK’s withdrawal from the Nuclear Non–Proliferation Treaty, nuclear tests, rocket tests, a major shift in ROK politics in 2008, attacks at sea, the shelling of ROK territory, closure by the DPRK – the list is not exhaustive. Why react to a failed rocket test, rather than earlier to the alleged hydrogen bomb test? And if Kaesong was really critical to funding the DPRK’s nuclear and missile program, as was briefly claimed by the minister for unification last week – long a vociferous charge in some quarters – was not the ROK evading the very sanctions that some of those vociferous voices have helped to establish?

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