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 an apocalyptic desire to annihilate large parts of the world’s population by instigating a 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.
In 1968, Richard Nixon was elected US President. He ran with a foreign policy platform promising to end the internecine war in Vietnam and allow the US to withdraw from the quagmire in South East Asia.v