It has been 58 years since the Korean War ended with an armistice.
The US has been trying their best to maintain peace in the peninsula, which is located in between some of the World’s most powerful nations – Russia, China and Japan. Now, the US has proposed to meet with North Korea to resume bringing home the remains of American soldiers buried in North Korean soil.
The US has started this project in 1996. For the next 10 years, there were 33 excavation projects in North Korea, and 220 bodies were brought home at last. However, when North Korea began testing nuclear detonations in 2005, this project was put on hold.
Now North Korea seems positive with resuming this project with the U.S.. Why?
North Korea’s foreign policy since the division of the Korean peninsula has been characterized as an opportunist’s tactic at best. When the favor is on North Korea’s side, they may be friendly to other nations. But once they get what they want (food, economic aid, etc), they resume their military provocations (nuclear testing, shelling of Yeonpyong islands, intruding South Korean seas, sinking of Cheonan, and many many shootings along the border).
|Thank you for all the money and food! – NK.|
Today, things aren’t going so well with North Korea. Politically, Kim Jong-Il’s fading and his heir Kim Jong-Un is known to be not popular enough with North Korea’s power-holders. He is also too young and inexperienced. Economically, the whole nation is in a shamble with another famine known to be happening. Militarily, their biggest and only ally China has not been very cooperative with North Korea’s requests.
North Korea has been trying to have a direct bilateral relationship with the U.S. recently, instead of doing things through South Korea. Although the nation is known for anti-American propaganda, they have recognized that the biggest money is in the U.S. now.
With South Korea, the history of their relationship has been nothing but full of deceit. During the years of the Sunshine Policy, North Korea seemed very positive with making amends with South. However, they dug underground tunnels for infiltration, sunk South Korean ships, attacked on borders just when the two nations seemed to be coming together. Now with the new administration enforcing their harsher treatment against North Korea, every co-project North and South had fallen apart. (reunion for divided families, tour of Mt. Kuemgang, Kaesung project, and so on)
Now North Korea is playing politics with remains of dead American soldiers from 60 years ago.
If North Korea wants to preserve itself, they must do these things for humanitarian purposes, not political. In order to overcome their economic depression and famine, this nonsense must stop. That includes nuclear development and power inheritance from father to son. If they want peace and aid, they must cooperate and talk.