Thursday, June 07, 2007

Are we not paying enough attention to the DPRK?

North Korea has possibly shot a a few more short-range missiles in the Sea of Japan/East Sea. This comes just two weeks after they sent one short-range missile in the same direction at the end of May. Perhaps the DPRK felt that nobody paid enough attention to the first one. We shall have to see if South Korea will claim that this is also part of 'annual routine exercises' as a way to brush it off.

There has been speculation in the past that the struggle between negotiators and hard-liners in the DPRK have led to similar confusing signals whereby shortly after signing a deal the North Koreans do something provocative and contradictory. This could be a similar case. Speculators also suggest that lack of communication between defence and foreign affairs departments mean they are working independent of activities in each others' departments. Although these activities clearly impact each others' interests. By now that the deadline to shut the reactor is so far past its deadline it is possible the agreement won't be revived. Add this to upcoming US elections and I would speculate that US-DPRK relations will now founder for some time to come.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui