Beijing announced it will send Song Tao, a special envoy of China’s President Xi Jinping, to North Korea on November 17. A Chinese spokesperson Geng Shuang said that Song’s is travelling to North Korea to give a briefing on the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Russia and North Korea share a short border but a long history.
When the United States and the Soviet Union drew theseemingly innocuous line dividing the Korean peninsula in 1953, it was regarded as a temporary administrative division for processing Japanese forces after World War II.
However, since then, Russia (and its Soviet Union predecessor) have been ensnared in the fate of the hermit Communist state.
Andray Abrahamian and Daekwon Son, writing in their 7th November piece for 38north.org, discussed some potential corollaries of the the recent de-escalation between China and South Korea over the contentious THAAD issue.
6 July, South Korean President Moon Jae-in called on Pyongyang to return to the dialogue table, noting it may be facing the last and best chance to do so. It was a stark message to convey: South Korea is willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at any time and any place under right circumstances.
“I make this clear here and now. We do not want North Korea’s collapse, nor will we seek any form of unification (with North Korea) by absorption,” Moon said.
This reference to not seek unification infers that the Kim regime can rest assured that it will be facing an existential threat by engaging in talks. This is a pivot from previous narratives promulgated by South Korean administrations, which base their policies on the ultimate goal of reunification under South Korea auspices.
According to the Guardian article, South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, has suggested North Korea could be part of a bid to co-host the 2030 World Cup. In a meeting with the Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, Moon said that several countries in north-east Asia – including the isolated North Korea – could form a bloc to share hosting duties for the tournament.
Kim Jung Un’s sanity has been questioned for years. He is characterised and satirised as an unhinged megalomaniac. He is attributed with a desire to annihilate large parts of the world’s population by instigating nuclear war.
However, a counter-argument can be made that Kim Jung Un is, in fact, a rational actor.
North Korea’s nuclear development pursuits have cost the country a large percentage of its GDP, crippled its economic growth potential, isolated itself from the modern world and ultimately starved, stunted and subjected its citizens in this “social utoipa” for generations.
Yes, such actions are cruel and tyrannical, but they do not qualify as irrational from a game theory standpoint.