Bless ‘Agence France Presse’ for venturing where Anglo Saxon wire services tip toe.
In a press release from Seoul, AFP makes mention that the Grand National Party which rules South Korea under the hard liner president Lee Myung bak is going to send a high ranking party member to North Korea.
Since Lee’s ascension to the Blue House, he has done everything with the power he has to return to a cold war with the North; reckless and ill thought out his joint military activities using live fire with US approval along the Northern Limit Line in November 2010 within a spit’s throw of North Korea’s international waters, provoked an exchange of gun fire. That incident set the region’s teeth on edge since one it was the first such incident since the 1953 armistice putting the Korean war on hold between the two Koreas, and two, it raised fears of another war in Asia. The US stayed Lee’s bellicose designs at that time, but it has hardly stopped his irrational exuberance in trying to provoke Kim Jong il.
Happily, Lee cannot run for re election. So, it may very well be that the GNP is planning to make nice to North Korea to ease ‘high cross border tensions’ Lee has kept on red alert!
Park Keun Hye, a dominant GNP figure, as well as the daughter of the assassinated ROK dictator Park Chung hee, four years ago, met Kim Jong il in Pyongyang. Lee unlike his predecessors has never gone to Pyongyang. North Korea has apparently agreed to the visit of the GNP’s leader Hong Joon pyo.
Are we seeing the first signs of a more flexible GNP policy for post Lee South Korea? If so, it is a welcome sign!